The event demonstrated the collaborative research and activity being undertaken to improve the quality of life of a person with a life-limiting illness.

Palliative Care Week aims to raise awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers, and families throughout the island of Ireland. South East Technological University (SETU) is a partner of the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC). The Department of Nursing & Healthcare in SETU Waterford along with Walton Institute were delighted to facilitate our second event for the annual Palliative Care Week, with this year’s theme being 'Palliative Care: Living as well as possible'.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the research and impactful activities ongoing in a collaborative manner by both departments as they contribute in a meaningful way towards the greater goal of actively improving the quality of life of a person with a life-limiting illness.

Palliative Care Week at SETU
Palliative Care Week at SETU in partnership with the AIIHPC, the Department of Nursing & Healthcare, Walton Institute and Solas Cancer Care

Meaningful collaboration

Geraldine Purcell, Lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Healthcare in SETU Waterford is passionate about palliative care nursing practice and education having worked as a nurse specialist in palliative for over 11 years prior to coming to SETU over three years ago. "This is the second event that SETU has organised as part of the annual AIIHPC Palliative Care Week. I am delighted to be part of the collaboration with Walton Institute and excited to share with everyone the meaningful collaboration that is ongoing in the south east. Palliative Care Week brings people together from many diverse backgrounds that share the same goal, in improving the quality of life for those with a life limiting illness,” Purcell says.

Educational technological resources

To date the Department of Nursing has successfully received funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) enabling a dedicated student-led undergraduate nursing research initiative in the area of undergraduate palliative care nursing education. Educational technological resources were developed as part of this initiative, with the objective of supporting undergraduate nursing level training. This valuable educational resource formed the basis of an exciting and focused collaboration between Walton Institute and the Department of Nursing and Healthcare in SETU, transferring the knowledge gained to be used as patient centered requirements towards the creation of an initial dedicated palliative care and educational virtual reality training experience.

Multidisciplinary team driven initiative

Frances Cleary, Head of Division in Walton Institute commented, “This multidisciplinary team driven initiative in SETU, plays an important role in raising awareness and understanding of palliative care needs for people with life-limiting illnesses and also their families. Part of our work here is focused on the application of new and emerging technologies and potential solutions that will strive to offer an enhanced quality of life.” 

The completion of an educational fellowship with the AIIHPC by a member of the Department of Nursing and Healthcare has resulted in a publicly available online resource for palliative care education on the AIIHPC website.

New and emerging technologies

Novel innovations utilising new and emerging technologies in the e-textiles and mixed reality domain are actively being investigated and developed to maximise the potential impact such technologies can have for palliative care. This fruitful collaboration in SETU enables a multidisciplinary driven team approach, driving real impactful outputs providing practical supports to enable the person to maintain or regain a good level of independence.