Australians sign up for palliative care training

Date: Jul 25, 2013

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) launched a Palliative Care Online Training Program in June 2013, and yesterday saw participant number 2,000 signing up.

It was designed to help those who work in acute or primary care to provide better palliative services to aged and dying people, based on the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting.

A number of organisations contributed to the creation of the program, including the Silver Chain Group, e3Learning and the AHHA's "business arm", JustHealth Consultants (JHC).

"Nearly 300 people have been enrolling in the program every week," said Ms Terrie Paul, director of JHC, in a July 24 statement.

"So there was clearly a strong need for the training."

She added that feedback from participants has been excellent, with most ready and willing to recommend the package to their employers or fellow workers.

The program's 2,000 participants - according to a recent evaluation - hail from all over the country and a wide range of palliative care settings.

About 81.5 per cent of those who responded to the evaluation said they were extremely satisfied with the training they had received, and rated their understanding of the Guidelines as being "excellent or greatly improved after completing the package".

The online program has also been praised as "relevant" and "effective" by those working in the aged care sector.

Through it, you will learn to understand the needs of people whose lives are coming to an end, as well as their families, and be better equipped to meet these.

Other skills you will pick up include how to build resilience, as well as the ability to have conversations about death and other end of life issues.

Such conversations are crucial, as they will ensure your aged patient or dying loved one's wishes are carried out once they pass away.

Undertaking this course will allow you to better discuss topics such as estate planning with them. If they have organised a will before the end, there is a much smaller chance that any estate disputes will occur.

Funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, the training course is completely free, accredited and available to anyone who has an interest in palliative care.

It takes between six and eight hours to complete, so it is a quick and easy way to become more attuned to the problems and solutions associated with palliative care.