Course Overview

Brief

This Course identifies that with the expansion of palliative care in the community, there is a potential gap in the workforce of clinicians and carers that can provide competent quality palliative care services. Primary healthcare providers need to know how to provide advance care planning to people both in the community and within residential aged care facilities.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the concept of advance care planning (ACP) to clinical situations so as to effectively recognise when it is appropriate to commence an ACP conversation
  • Implement a palliative approach to care in order to improve the quality of life of care recipients
  • Identify when a care recipient is in the final stages of life in order to ensure the person receives a peaceful and dignified death

Topics include:

  • Advance care planning
  • Advance Care Directives (ACDs)
  • When and how to start the conversation
  • The palliative approach
  • Recognising the dying process
  • Using an end of life care plan

Target audience

All staff working in the aged care sector, both in the community and in residential aged care facilities. It is suitable as an introduction to the topic for nurses and to ensure that personal care staff have an awareness of its importance.

Purpose

Enable important conversations about advance care planning and palliative care to take place between care recipients, family members and health professionals, in order to enhance provision of quality palliative care and the palliative approach.

Need

The Australian Government Aged Care Reforms provide support for older Australians to stay in their own homes for as long as possible by utilising home care packages. This is an important opportunity for staff providing home care to begin a conversation around advance care planning while the care recipient is able to make decisions for themselves. If people do require care in a residential aged care facility (RACF), they will be entering at a later stage in their life, be more unwell, often with advanced dementia, and they will benefit from a palliative approach to their care. It is imperative that aged care staff see palliative care as a core skill to ensure residents experience a peaceful and dignified death. All patients with a life-limiting illness, their families and carers will require support and care from health professionals who understand and are skilled in the palliative approach to care. Improvements in palliative care will become more challenging as the population ages and the palliative care workforce ages with it. There will not be enough specialist palliative care services to meet the need, and it is essential that primary care is primed to take an increasing share of the palliative care burden.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Educators