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End-of-Life Essentials Blog

Supporting End-of-Life Care for Patients and Their Families: The Importance of Education

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A post written by Dr Claudia Virdun, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer and Palliative Care Outcomes Centre and PCNA Committee Member

At Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA), we believe that providing quality care for patients living with advanced serious illness and their families is of utmost importance.

Many patients with palliative care needs in Australia require one if not multiple admissions to hospital in their last 12 months or so of life. In addition to this, many Australians living with advanced serious illness will die in an acute care setting.

Caring for patients with palliative care needs within the acute care sector can be complex and challenging. Clinical decision making, care planning, and care provision require a deep understanding of the patient's needs, as well as the resources available to support them. Access to quality learning resources that can be tailored to local and individual contexts is essential for clinicians across all jurisdictions in Australia.

PCNA’s experience with the End-of-Life Essentials (EOLE) program and project team has been overwhelmingly positive. PCNA appreciates the inclusion of nursing representation within the EOLE National Advisory Group, and the efforts made to make these resources available and accessible to nurses working around the clock, through online resources and in-service materials.

We are aware of colleagues who are exploring ways to integrate EOLE learning into new graduate nursing programs. This is important as this enables learning in real-time as nurses commencing their professional work face care requirements for patients with palliative care needs, and/or their families. Understanding the impact of this learning for the nurses themselves and the patients and families they care for is an important focus into the years ahead.

EOLE works hard to meet the needs of all clinicians, including nurses, medical professionals, and allied health workers across all care settings. It is unique in that it crosses clinical disciplines and facilitates conversations among multi-disciplinary teams, which is critical when it comes to providing optimal care for people at the end of life.

In the coming years, we look forward to working with the EOLE team to refine implementation strategies for these resources and ensure that updated and high-quality resources are available for all clinical disciplines. We will especially focus on resources that specifically support nurses in their care provision whether at the new graduate level or for nurses who have worked for many years.

At PCNA, we believe that providing quality care for patients with palliative care needs and their families is a priority. Through programs like EOLE, we can ensure that clinicians have access to resources they need to support the provision of optimal care. Find out more about the EOLE purpose-built training resources for short, targeted training for small or large groups in various settings.

 

 

Dr Claudia Virdun, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer and Palliative Care Outcomes Centre

and PCNA Committee Member

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