Empowering Palliative Care Givers in Romania

Although more than 40 percent of Romania’s population lives in poverty, Romanian professionals are providing incredible palliative care despite limited resources, according to Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing Diane Gerzevitz.

Since Gerzevitz joined the board of directors of the United Kingdom-based Hospices of Hope a decade ago, she and other URI nurses have been sharing their knowledge of quality of life care for terminally ill patients and their families with their Romanian medical counterparts.

Last summer, Gerzevitz and 11 nurses from URI and Simmons College, including Clinical Associate Professor in Pharmacy Practice Margaret Charpentier, ran the first-ever American-Romanian symposium for palliative care.

“Even though there were language barriers, I was struck by the universal language of caring,” said Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing Katherine Paquette, who accompanied Romanian nurses on home visits. “I may not have understood the words being said, but I could understand the reactions of the family members who were receiving care.”