The University of Iowa

Eland Continues to Influence Hospice Training in India

June 10th, 2013

From the College of Nursing website

Professor Joann Eland

UI nursing professor Joann Eland returned to India in April 2013 to write curriculum on pain and palliative care to be used throughout the country.

Professor Joann (Jo) Eland, PhD, RN, FAAN, recently found herself back in Trivandrum, India—a city located in the Southern tip of the country—as part of her continuing effort to provide vital end-of-life training to the region.

In December 2012, Dr. Eland and a group of 18 University of Iowa students (11 from the College of Nursing) traveled to Trivandrum where she taught a three-week course titled “Hospice, Pain and Palliative Care.”

The course is co-taught and coordinated with Pallium India, a nongovernmental, nonprofit hospice organization. Eighty-five percent of the organization’s services are provided to India’s poorest citizens, and all medical and nursing care, including medicine, is free to patients.

In April, Dr. Eland was asked if she would return and assist in writing pain and palliative care curriculum for nursing and medicine—only this time, the curriculum was not just for Pallium India but for the entire country!

“My colleagues at Pallium have been working to get this content into the curriculum for 17 years, and now the Indian Supreme Court has mandated inclusion of the content,” explained Eland, who has now logged four trips to Trivandrum. “It’s exciting that the curriculum will be used universally throughout the country.”

A team of eight nurses, including two nurse educators, three in palliative care practice, a highly placed nurse administrator from the government, and Dr. Eland wrote morning, noon and night for five days and ultimately produced a 37-page document for students and another 37-page document for instructors.

A group of nine physicians were charged with writing curriculum for medical students and faculty. The Supreme Court has requested that all documents to be edited and finalized within a two-month time frame.

After a rigorous schedule that required completing a great deal of work in a short amount of time, Eland was faced with the grueling 32+ hour flight home … but insists it was worth every minute.

“The people of India are amazing. The curriculum writing went very well and we made a great deal of progress.”