Howest is awarded a grant for the Erasmus+ project in connection with Palliative Care

Howest is awarded a grant for the Erasmus+ project in connection with Palliative Care

Howest is awarded a grant for the Erasmus+ project in connection with Palliative Care

Kortrijk, 20 August 2020 – Howest has received the approval for its Erasmus+ project proposal in connection with palliative care by nurses. Through this international cooperation project, the Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen intends, along with the research partners  in Finland, Romania, Austria and the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), to develop a guideline to place more emphasis on ‘palliative care’ within the European Nursing study programmes. The project will start as from 1 November for a period of 3 years. Besides, since this year, Howest also offers a postgraduate ‘Nurse specialised in Palliative Care’.

“This research project finds its origin in the finding that the basic knowledge of palliative care of graduated bachelors in Nursing is insufficient”, explains Veerle Coupez, lecturer Elderly Care at Howest and research coordinator within the Nursing study programme. “And this does not only apply to our country, also our partners in Romania, Finland, Austria and the EAPC have come to a similar conclusion. Time after time, research reveals that palliative care is in fact as important as preventive and curative care. 1 out of 12 persons will develop diabetes during their lives, 1 out of 6 develops dementia, but 1 out of 1 will pass away. Nevertheless, within the European Nursing study programmes little attention is paid to the palliative section. In our ageing society, the need for specialised nurses in this field continues to increase.”

Threefold Programme

The ‘NursEduPal@Euro’ project will consist of three parts. In first instance, the core competences the nurses need in connection with palliative care will be listed at European level. Afterwards, research will be conducted on how these competences can be taught. Veerle Coupez: “It is not feasible to have all students take a work placement in a palliative ward. So, we must look for other innovative methods and tools to have palliative care taught in the study programmes. Simulation education e.g.  is one of the strengths of Howest. Responding to dying situations and having conversations with palliative patients do not necessarily have to take place ‘at the patient’s physical bedside’. Then again, our Finnish partner has set up an escape room, but we will also look how we can implement e-learning, blended teaching or virtual reality.” The last part of the project consists of converting the competences and training tools in a European matrix. Lecturers will be able to use this ‘toolkit’ as a guideline to integrate palliative care into their courses. 

Howest as ‘Pioneer’

For this project, Howest will work together with the Finnish Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, the Romanian University Transylvania of Brasov, Dr. Piret Paal of the Austrian Paracelsus Medicinische Privatuniversität and the European association for palliative care (EAPC). “However, our University of Applied Sciences takes the lead”, adds Veerle Coupez. “This means that we have coordinated the entire application procedure. We are therefore very satisfied that our administrative efforts have led to a positive result. In the upcoming months, we will proceed to the recruitment of an additional staff member who will fully commit to this project.”

About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ is especially known as the students exchange programme, but there is also an important second core action (KA2). In this scope, several educational institutions set up Strategic Partnerships to contribute to the innovation and the improvement  of study programmes and education. The execution of the European and international programmes and actions for education, training, courses and lifelong learning is guaranteed in our country by Epos, the National Agency for the Erasmus+ programme in Flanders.

More information

Veerle Coupez 
Lecturer Elderly Care / Coordinator Research Cluster Nursing Howest
0486 35 53 83
veerle.coupez@howest.be