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Michigan's first hospice care training facility opens in Pittsfield Township

The first hospice training facility in the state of Michigan has opened in Pittsfield Township. It features a simulation lab where caregivers can learn the skills they need to provide patients and their families with end-of-life care.

It was a helpful warning before you walk into the simulation room. The different adult and baby mannequins are very lifelike. This gives potential hospice caregivers a chance to get realistic training.

Kelly Errer is the statewide director with Northstar Care Community. The organization includes non-profits Arbor Hospice and Hospice of Michigan. She says when a patient is close to death, it’s an emotional time. And this simulation lab gives caregivers the opportunity to learn the physical and emotional skills it takes to do the job.

“Not only do we want them to be really good at the skills, like putting an I.V. in or whatever, but we want their bedside manner. We want their emotional support that they’re giving the families who are struggling right alongside with the patient.”

In addition to caring for adults, the lab also offers the rare opportunity to learn how to care for pediatric patients.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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