Workshop on Soft Skills and Grief Counselling conducted by MOHAN Foundation in association with Bengal Organ Donation Society & NATCO at Narayana Health RTIICS, Kolkata

Updated on Monday, May 27, 2024
  • MOHAN Foundation, in collaboration with the Bengal Organ Donation Society and NATCO, held a workshop on "Soft Skills & Grief Counselling" from May 22-23, 2024, at Narayana Health RTIICS Kolkata. The workshop was designed for transplant coordinators, nurses, social workers, and ICU staff to enhance their roles in the deceased donation and transplantation program. The objective was to help participants develop soft skills in communication, leadership and team building – all important requisites to boost the organ donation program in their respective hospitals. The workshop also aimed at helping them understand how to communicate with grieving families, equip them with the skills needed to sensitively and empathetically offer the option of organ donation, and address the unique challenges associated with organ donation and transplantation.


    Several dignitaries like Dr. Debasis Das (Director, ROTTO East), Dr. Arpita Ray Choudhary (Former Joint Director, ROTTO East),Dr. Indrajeet Tiwary (Chairman, Bengal Organ Donation Society), Dr. Saibal Roy Chowdhury (Head of Medical Operations, Kolkata Cluster, Narayana Health), Dr. Saurabh Kole (Senior Intensivist), Ms. Lalitha Raghuram (Country Director, MOHAN Foundation), Ms. Pallavi Kumar (Executive Director, MOHAN Foundation) and Cmdr V M Swamy (President, Bengal Organ Donation Society) inaugurated the workshop with a lamp lighting ceremony, followed by felicitation of the dignitaries.


    The workshop included the following sessions:


    1. 1.      Ms. Pallavi Kumar
    • “A NO is not always a NO”: This session explored the idea that an initial refusal for organ donation can get converted to a consent with appropriate communication strategies.
    • “A to Z of Organ Donation”: A comprehensive overview of the various concepts in organ donation and transplantation
    • “Grief Counselling and Making the Ask”: Techniques and approaches for counselling grieving families and sensitively broaching the subject of organ donation.
    • “Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994”: An overview of the legal framework governing organ donation and transplantation in India.
    • “National Alliance of Transplant Coordinators (NATCO)”: Information on the role and activities of NATCO in supporting transplant coordinators.


    1. 2.      Ms. Lalitha Raguram-

    “Communication and Body Language”: This session focused on the importance of effective communication and non-verbal cues in interactions generally and more specifically with grieving families and colleagues.


    1. 3.      Dr. Saurabh Kole- “Importance of Grief Counselling in Deceased Organ Donation” - An Intensivist Perspective: Insights from an intensivist on how grief counselling plays a crucial role in the context of deceased organ donation.


    1. 4.      Dr. Arpita Ray Choudhary- “My Journey with Transplant Coordinators”: Joy of Learning: A personal account of experiences working with transplant coordinators and the rewarding aspects of this collaboration.


    Overall, the workshop aimed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support organ donation and transplantation efforts effectively, emphasizing sensitivity, empathy, and comprehensive understanding of the processes and challenges involved.


    Ms. Lalitha also moderated a variety of engaging activities, designed to enhance the learning experience and foster practical skills. These activities included:


    • Team Building Exercise: The activity focused on fostering collaboration and effective communication among participants. By working together in various tasks, attendees could develop stronger teamwork skills, crucial for the coordinated efforts required in organ donation and transplantation processes.


    • Roleplaying Scenarios for Counselling Grieving Families: Participants engaged in simulated interactions with individuals who had experienced the loss of a loved one. These roleplaying scenarios allowed them to practice realistic and constructive conversations, helping them to handle emotional and delicate discussions with greater sensitivity and empathy.


    The two-day workshop concluded with a certificate distribution ceremony, where Mr. Ahmed Hassan Imran, Chairman of the West Bengal Minorities Commission, presented certificates to the delegates. This gesture not only recognized the efforts and participation of the attendees but also emphasized the importance of their roles in the organ donation and transplantation program.


    The workshop received very positive feedback from participants, who appreciated the depth and practicality of the sessions. Many attendees highlighted the value of the hands-on activities and the opportunity to practice their skills in a supportive environment. The interactive nature of the workshop, coupled with the expertise of the speakers, was particularly well-received.


    Overall, the workshop was attended by nearly 80 participants from various government and private hospitals not just from Kolkata but from other parts of the country as well. The high turnout and enthusiastic participation underscored the relevance and necessity of such training programs in enhancing the effectiveness of organ donation and transplantation efforts.

    Source-Ms. Th. Udayini Khuman
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