Free education to boost palliative care services

A first of its kind, health care professionals now have access to Palliative Care Education (PaCE), a QUT-led directory app that provides links to hundreds of free training resources.

The PaCE app links to almost 200 free educational resources developed through Australian Government-funded palliative care projects.

Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates (pictured) from the QUT Centre for Health Transformation and QUT Centre for Palliative Care and Cancer Outcomes said there was a growing need for palliative care services in the Australian community.

“As the population ages, more people will die from diseases such as dementia or chronic conditions which typically have a prolonged trajectory,” said Professor Yates, who is also executive dean of the QUT Faculty of Health.

“Many older people also live with more than one chronic condition. This means people at the end of their lives will have palliative needs for longer, and that the complexity of care for this population is increased.”

Professor Yates said not all community members had access to specialist palliative care services due to limitations in current service models and workforce shortages.

“Nearly all health and aged care workers will come into contact with people who are nearing the end of life, yet these areas of practice have not always been prioritised in education.

“People who are nearing the end of life can experience complex physical, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs.

“Support to address these needs is required across all areas of our health and aged care systems, including community settings, aged care facilities, and in hospitals,” she said.

The PaCE resources are relevant to generalist or specialist health professionals and cover topics such as communication, symptom management, legal and ethical aspects of care, and decision-making and therapeutic partnerships at end of life.

The directory is accessible via mobile device or desktop, and can be filtered by discipline, learning approach and delivery mode, or searched for specific topics. Learning outcomes and duration, capabilities, and certifications are listed.

The PaCE app was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

It was developed through the QUT-led Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative comprising the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) and Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) projects, in collaboration with national care partners.

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