Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) held a Clinical Mentorship workshop for the clinical supervisors in readiness for students joining the palliative care class this September 2013.

These supervisors will act as mentors and some will be assessors for the first class of palliative care to be undertaken at KMTC following the success of a palliative care program jointly crafted by Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA), KMTC and the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK).

KMTC Principle Lecturer Mrs. Margaret Juma said that the aim of the workshop was to orientate them on the curriculum and their role in its implementation.

Mrs. Juma said that there are expectations they are supposed to meet as supervisors of students while on placement at their stations to ensure the students meet the objectives of the course.

She said that this is because this is a distance learning course where students will have will be meeting the lecturers during a few sessions and assignments given for students to complete at their placement sites.

“We need someone who is accountable to the institution due to distance since the students will have clinical placement at the hospices and units where they are in charge.” Mrs. Juma said.

Through the workshop, Mrs. Juma said they could get a chance to know from the supervisors if there are impediments in terms of resources and inform the institution if the objective of the training could be met during palliative care clinical placements.

“We could also have a chance of knowing the number of clients they attend to as this could guide on the number of students that could be placed at their site” she said.

The deputy head academic in the Nursing Department Mrs. Monica Hera said that officers have visited the sites and assessed their viability to equip the students with necessary palliative care skills and the workshop would help in bringing the supervisors up to speed on various issues pertaining the course.

“This workshop serves as a platform to share any challenges that the officers may have at the centers of placement and see how best to solve them before the start of the course.” Mrs. Hera said.

According to the Stella Rithara, Palliative care lecturer at KMTC, 36 students are expected to kick-start the course with expected expansion ans the course progresses in future intakes.

“The course will be run by tutors qualified in palliative care who applied to facilitate the course in their various areas of specialization.” M/s. Rithara said.

Tutors are required to have a BSc in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing from a recognised institution, must be currently registered/ licensed for registration with the NCK and must possess a valid practice license.

The palliative care course at KMTC will run for 18 months and would lead to students qualifying with a Higher Diploma in palliative nursing.