Health professionals can find it difficult to manage the growing evidence relevant to the care of patients with palliative care needs. While CareSearch provides access to a wide variety of palliative care evidence and resources, knowing which one to use can be tricky. Recognising when it might be worthwhile looking for additional evidence is also important. These were the original reasons why we introduced My Learning, a web-based learning initiative, in 2012. Educational modules in My Learning introduced health professionals to resources in CareSearch and showed how they could help in clinical care and decision making. Since then, each month, around 100 people complete the learning modules.
As part of our ongoing review of content, the project team has been involved in updating these modules to ensure that the content is still current. We also took the opportunity to redesign the layout and appearance of the modules to give them a cleaner, more visually-appealing look and feel.
The last five years have seen an increase in people using e-learning options and greater sophistication in the educational platform, making it possible to create friendlier e-learning modules. Education remains an important avenue to translate knowledge from research into practice. It is also part of the continuing professional development responsibilities of all clinicians.
How does My Learning work?
My Learning is free to use. Each module is made up of a learning package that uses a patient story to show how CareSearch resources can help. A brief quiz helps reinforce understanding. Once the student completes each module, they are able to print a certificate for their professional records or their CPD requirements, where appropriate.
Currently, there are six modules available on My Learning:
My Learning 1: Finding Evidence (Published Literature)
Eileen has non-small cell lung carcinoma. This module shows you how the Clinical Evidence pages, Review Collection, and PubMed Topic Searches helped Eileen's breathlessness.
My Learning 2: Finding Evidence (Searching for Evidence)
Clare is caring for her husband John. She is concerned about the vivid and realistic dreams he is having about his dead brother. You use some PubMed resources to answer her questions.
My Learning 3: Searching the Web
Ruth was diagnosed with stage II melanoma five years ago and has now had maximal treatment for liver and brain metastases. She lives with her husband Bruce and their two teenage children.
My Learning 4: Residential Aged Care
Ken is a resident in the Kangaroo Valley Aged Care Facility. The staff are not sure if Ken is approaching the end of his life. This module profiles resources in the Residential Aged Care Hub.
My Learning 5: Dementia
Anna's father Lou has dementia. As his condition worsens, the family disagrees about his care. This module highlights dementia resources in CareSearch.
My Learning 6: Carers
Lana is a 35 year old woman who is sole parent to Rhiannon and John, 10 year old twins. Her mother June became very ill and moved in with Lana. Lana struggles to cope.
The revised modules are now available. You can find them in the Clinical and Using Evidence section of CareSearch.
If you are a health professional looking to explore new ways of finding and using palliative care information to help you in your practice, the My Learning modules may be for you. Feel free to give them a try and then share your experiences in the comments section below. We are always after your feedback!
Erin McAllister is the Marketing and Communications Manager, CareSearch palliative care knowledge network.