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Palliative Care Giving: A Reflection on Learning Experiences and Career Aspirations


How can the challenges faced by palliative care givers be addressed to ensure effective and compassionate end-of-life care?

Interpersonal Effectiveness



Social work is an important profession that focuses on social development. Social workers focus on empowering communities and protecting rights of people irrespective of their cultural or linguistic background. There are many individuals who desire to gather knowledge about social work with the help of social work education. Social work education helps in building social workers who further chooses human right profession (Ife,, 2022). Therefore, from the above discussion it can be concluded that social workers aim at bringing positive changes in the society. I am currently studying in University of Bedfordshire and I am studying, health and social care. This essay aims at reflecting upon my learning experiences. It also explores the impact of my education and degree on my career.


Social work is a rewarding job but it comes with several challenges and issues. There are various forms of social worker. In my opinion, it is the basic right of a human being to make decisions that are associated with end-of life care. There are chronically ill patients who deserve a painless death and it should be ensured by a social worker. Therefore, I desire to become a palliative caregiver. There are patients who are suffering from chronic illness like cancer. They often complain about inadequate and ineffective nursing care (Dhavale,, 2020). In 2019, a report disclosed that palliative care givers are mostly family members and they juggle with their paid work and caring a disabled old person (Gardiner,, 2022). Therefore, the number of trained and palliative care givers in UK are less. However, the number of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals in UK are more than palliative care givers. Apart from the availability, palliative care giving comes with several stereotypes. There are people who often fail to accept death and they prevent themselves from discussing anything associated with death and end-of life care. Therefore, I decided to become a palliative care giver and contribute to the growth of the society.

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, palliative care givers are known for reducing pain and stress of chronically ill patients. They also ensure a high-quality end-of life care to people who are fighting with deadly diseases. However, a palliative care giver faces significant problem while treating their patients. Cultural and social barriers is the significant challenge that are faced by palliative care givers. There are patients who have misconceptions about the palliative care treatment. There are various communities who consider death and dying to be negative words. They fail to accept the reality. Thus, enhancing their awareness is a challenge for the palliative care giver. Apart, from that policymakers of several nations are also not aware of the advantages of palliative care givers. This often makes euthanasia an illegal process of treatment (WHO, 2020). Moreover, poor coordination from the family members of the patients can also become one of the major challenges in palliative care giving profession (Musonda,, 2021). Family members might not have vast knowledge about palliative care giving. Therefore, they do not allow these caregivers to initiate pain-reducing treatments like usage of substance and opioids.

Thus, from the above discussion it can be concluded that, I will face significant challenges while providing palliative treatment to my patients. In such scenario, my learning experiences can guide me effective. In this learning session, I have learnt about systems theory. According to systems theory, the idea, attitude or behaviour of an individual are often influenced by several factors that work in a system. The thinking and actions of an individual are also influenced by few factors (Social work license map, 2023). I can use this theory to understand why people prevent themselves from discussing situations related to death. Attitudes of individuals towards death and end-of life care can be understood by me with the help of this theory. This is how I can overcome the identified challenge. Furthermore, I can also use Belbin’s team role theory to coordinate with the patient and their family members strategically (Siemon, 2022). A range of productive and useful behaviours that enhance team contribution and team performance is demonstrated in the Belbin’s team role theory (Rahmani,, 2022). I desire to play the role of a coordinator. I need to coordinate with the patient and their family member. This coordination can help me to remove stigmas from their mind. Finally, with the help of this module, I have gathered various skills that can make me employable. I have developed critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving skills. I need to work with chronically ill patients whose conditions might become worse at any point. In such situation, I need to be critical and make decisions quickly. These skills of mine can contribute to the growth of my career.

At the end of the report, a job description and person specification are included (Appendix A). This is a job post for palliative care givers in Chapel House, UK. In the job description it is written that palliative care givers must be kind, dedicated and have genuine desire to support patients who are suffering from chronic disease. In my opinion, this job can suit my personality. I have enrolled myself in social work degree because I am always compassionate towards aged people. This compassion of mine can help me to support patients who are at the final stage of their life. This learning module has also helped me to understand the process in which the needs of consumers can be met. I have understood the real importance of work commitment. As mentioned in the job role, I need to support patients who are suffering from chronic illness like However, a chronically ill patient might need ventilation support, assistance with suction and many more. Such supports can be provided by a registered nurse. This is known as patient-centred approach. Incorporation of patient-centred approach is important because it has potential impact on the outcome of the treatment (Buawangpong,, 2020). I am intrigued towards palliative care giving but I am not a registered nurse. This can prevent me from assisting patients with ventilation and other technical tools. Moreover, I am an introvert and this triggers me to avoid communication. Thus, after completing my degree I need to primarily enrol myself in nursing training and become a registered nurse. Moreover, I should focus on improving my communication skills in order to ensure effective coordination. I will enrol myself in the language course offered by my current university in order to develop my skills. In the following part of the report, I have developed a “Personal Development Plan Template”. This template focuses on my objectives and future that can further help me to become an efficient palliative care giver. Moreover, authenticity during making such plan is important (Fairbank, 2023).

Table 1: Personal Development Plan (SMART)

SpecificMeasurableAttainableRelevantTime bound
Objective 1: Graduating from University of Bedfordshire with the Health and Social care degreeI must graduate with a minimum 2:2 degree.I should focus on maintaining 80% attendance. I should also maintain 65% marks in each subject.It can be aligned with nursing training because nurses are healthcare providers who work for communities.I am graduating in June 2023 and will start my nursing course on September 2023.
Objective 2: Prepare for an international standard English test.Achieve an average score of 7.5.I should enrol myself in classes where IELTS preparation courses are provided. I should also enrol myself in the language course that has been organised by my current university.This is relevant to my career because it can help me to communicate with clients clearly and from different parts of the world. It can also help me to communicate with people from different cultural or linguistic background and initiate diversity and inclusion in the workplace.July and August, 2023, before starting my nursing course. 
Objective 3: Enrol in the nursing training.Get a distinction and become a registered nurse.I should get minimum 60% marks in each subject during the training.It will help me to become a registered nurse and I can apply in various hospitals and become a professional caregiver.September 2023
Objective 4: Volunteer healthcare eventsGather recommendation letter and appraisal letter.I must engage myself in volunteering activities that are working for chronically ill patients and creating campaigns to enhance awareness.Healthcare events who are treating chronically ill patients and creating awareness is relevant to my degree and career plan. These events can help me to understand the process in which, I can remove stigmas from the mind of the patient and their family members.In 2024, I should be a part of at least 4 such events.
Objective 5: Become technologically efficientPassing courses like health informatics and data analytics with a minimum of 60% marksI should attend each class during the course and ensure an 80% attendanceThis is the era of technology. Therefore, while treating patients I can access their records and treat them accordinglyAugust 2023


This essay aims at reflecting upon my learning experiences. It also gives a comprehensive overview of the process in which I have developed skills through this learning session. I desire to become a palliative care giver and protect the dignity of patients who are at the final stage of their life. There are various misconceptions associated with this palliative care giving. One of the major reasons behind such misconception is lack of awareness. I need to use my communication skills to increase coordination with the patient and their family members. Finally, I have decided to enrol myself in the nursing training. In my opinion, I can get several working opportunities if I become a registered nurse and join a healthcare organisation in UK.


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