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The first graduating class of the Palau Community College (PCC) Care-Giving/Geriatric Program held an awarding ceremony on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at the Continuing Education (CE) Training Room. Guests invited to commemorate the graduates included Palau’s Minister of Health Gregorio Ngirmang, Dr. Gregory Dever, Senator Raynold Oilouch, CE Dean Willy Wally, and PCC President Patrick U. Tellei.
Analyn L. Custudio, Audrily Osarch, Baily Nanawa, Benita Gabriel, Dechol Ngchar, Edward Charles, Eleanor Manor, Heidi Yoach, Jenifer Teliu, Jovanna Imengel Ito, Lemerie Tatingal, Lsau Masayuki, Miriam Chin, Razel C. Cuenco, and Yolanda Doktok were all certified for their participation in the program.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, PCC is providing a basic care-giving training program for individuals interested in caring for home-bound bedridden patients, especially those of old age. A total of 15 people received their certificates for care-giving from the program.
A basis for the program was provided by Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes of the Geriatric Education Center at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Geriatrics is a field of medicine that deals with the healthcare of elderly individuals. Tying in with the cultural significance of family care, especially for the elderly, PCC has adapted a version of this program to fit the needs of patients in Palau.
The training is divided into different modules, each taught a day within an hour-and-a-half’s time frame. Participants are taught about the different aspects of caring for bedridden/home-bound patients such as physical care, personal hygiene, and food preparation. In addition, participants learn how to deal with the emotional and physical stresses that come with the demands of care-giving.
Dr. Tellei welcomed everyone to the ceremony by sharing his personal experience with care-giving. Dean Wally followed with a focus on the cultural significance of the training, specifically the Palauan tradition of caring for our family members especially the elderly. Dr. Gregory Dever, Regional Human Resources for Health Coordinator of the Pacific Islands Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA), talked about the influence that the training’s result has had on other islands of the Pacific region: Samoa, seeing the positive effects of the training in Palau, is planning to adapt a similar program.
Dr. Sylvia Osarch, an active supporter of the program since its beginning, recognized the selflessness of each person who signed up for the training. She identified the difficulties that came with care-giving, especially the numerous sacrifices on the part of the care-giver. In this, she appealed to the government officials of Palau to consider funding individuals who choose to train in this program so that they may have a form of financial support while they care for their families.
The Care-Giving/Geriatric Training Program began on June 10, 2013 and continued for a total of two weeks. A hundred (100) individuals have signed up for the program. Following the graduation of the first group, an additional four (4) sections are to partake in the program. The program is still open for sign-ups! Interested individuals are encouraged to join and learn how to care for those in need.
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