Better prepared with training

Mr Seng, 61, who underwent training in a palliative care pilot scheme, is now more confident of looking after the needs of dying patients.
PHOTO: Better prepared with training

SINGAPORE - Having gone for palliative care training, Mr Victor Seng knows its importance for health-care staff and the benefits it brings to terminally ill patients and their families.

The 61-year-old administrator of St Theresa's Home welcomed the Health Ministry's announcement yesterday of more training for staff in nursing homes.

Mr Seng was in the pioneer batch of health-care staff from seven nursing homes who were trained in a palliative care pilot scheme in 2009.

"It's important for staff to know what to look out for, so they will be better prepared when the need arises," he said. "Through the training I had, I am now more confident in looking after a (dying) person, and I can also advise my colleagues."

One major point he remembers is the importance of allowing dying patients to spend their last moments with their loved ones, rather than rushing them to a hospital's emergency department.

Currently, if a resident at his nursing home becomes seriously ill, doctors, family members and a pastoral care team all go to the home, so the patient gets "holistic" care, he said.

"There's a good closure between the patient, his family members, and the staff of the nursing home."

He also welcomed the new graduate diploma course to train more doctors in palliative care, but hoped something similar would be open to other health-care staff who are not medically trained.

This article was first published on June 29, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.