Jun 23, 2023

Want to educate yourself about palliative care? Here’s what’s on offer

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To support the delivery of palliative care in Australia, the Federal Government funds organisations to produce resources and deliver education and training courses. [Source: Shutterstock]

It is no secret that the care sector is changing as industry reforms come into place and education and knowledge expands on the best practices when caring for vulnerable people. 

Elements of aged care that were lagging have since been thrust into the spotlight – factors such as the importance of food, nutrition and mobility, managing symptoms and behaviours associated with dementia and understanding the crucial need for competent palliative care. 

Since palliative care has been recognised as a fundamental touchstone of quality and person-centred care until the end of life, many free training and education programs have been offered to the sector to inform care workers and help them navigate uncomfortable topics such as death and dying. But what are these programs? And what will they teach you?

Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

PEPA forms part of the Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative as a national palliative care project. The Collaborative takes a strategic approach to education and training of the healthcare workforce and delivers programs across all different levels.

Designed for:

  • Allied health workers
  • Care workers
  • Nurses
  • Disability Support Workers
  • Medical Practitioners

Training offers: 

  • Principles of palliative care
  • Identifying the needs of your patients with life-limiting conditions
  • Understanding the role of your discipline in managing common problems faced by palliative care patients
  • Recognising your own knowledge base/scope of practice in regard to optimal palliative care provision
  • Identifying personal coping strategies for effective management of personal issues related to working in this area

End-of-Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC)

ELDAC provides information, guidance, and resources to health professionals and aged care workers to support palliative care and advance care planning fit with a toolkit of topics and the ELDAC care model.

Designed for:

  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Aged care workers –  home care and residential care 
  • Nurses
  • Allied health workers

Training offers: 

  • Evidence-based resource for people working in primary care
  • Information to support clients and families in home care
  • Information to support residents and families in residential aged care
  • Education on end-of-life laws for the aged care sector
  • Linkages between aged, primary and palliative care services
  • Practical resources and information to support allied health professionals
  • Education from palliative care experts and clinicians

Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U)

The PCC4U project focuses on improving the skill and confidence of the health workforce to work with people with palliative care needs through online learning modules.

Designed for:

  • Students from any health profession

Training offers: 

  • Principles of palliative care
  • Communicating with people with life-limiting illnesses
  • Assessing and managing symptoms in palliative care
  • Optimising function in palliative care
  • A multidisciplinary approach in palliative care
  • Caring for Aboriginal people with life-limiting illnesses
  • Culture-centred care of people with life-limiting illnesses

Equip Aged Care Learning Packages

Equip Aged Care Learning Packages is an online resource consisting of 10-minute modules for anyone interested in the aged care sector who wants to enhance their knowledge and keep up to date with current practices. Certificates are awarded on the completion of each module and health Professionals completing Equip Aged Care Learning Packages may be eligible for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.

Designed for:

  • Anyone interested in the aged care sector
  • Personal care workers
  • Nurses
  • Allied health workers
  • Volunteers
  • Families

Training offers: 

  • An overview of the Australian aged care system
  • Exploring the role of nurses, personal care workers and allied health professionals working in aged care
  • The Aged Care Quality Standards
  • Supporting people living with dementia
  • Palliative and end-of-life care
  • Person-centred care
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Promoting mental health and wellbeing
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Oral health promotion
  • Prevention of falls
  • Wound management and pressure injury prevention
  • Hearing health

palliAGED

PalliAGED is the palliative care evidence and practice information online resource for the Australian aged care sector. Providing support for health and care practitioners as well as resource developers, the website also provides trustworthy information for older Australians and their loved ones.

Designed for:

  • Nurses
  • Allied health workers
  • Aged care support workers 

Training offers:

  • Planning and coordinating palliative care for older people
  • Roles and responsibilities of nurses across diverse settings and contexts
  • The role of allied health in evidence-based palliative care and multidisciplinary teams
  • Skill knowledge building in palliative care
  • Access support to help you provide palliative care across different care settings and contexts

Talk to your employer about accessing these training options or visit the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website for more information.

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