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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
The experiences of individual patients at the end of life are varied, but commonly include an increase in the intensity of symptoms and an uncertainty of what lies ahead. People who are facing the end of life and who are frightened or unwell seek assistance from our health care systems and many people seek assistance from our acute hospital system.
Did you know that in the last 12 months of life people can have an average of four admissions to acute hospitals?1 Up to 75% of people at the end of life can present at least once to the emergency department in the last two of years of life.2
From these statistics we learn that patients at the end-of-life may have made multiple trips to acute hospitals and their illness highly likely to affect their quality of life.
Ultimately, every health care professional needs to know about end-of-life care.
End-of-Life Essentials have produced new online education that’s free and evidence-based to assist professionals in increasing their capacity and confidence in end-of-life care.
The new education now available includes:
End-of-life care can happen in any part of the hospital system. Being prepared is the key for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. End-of-Life Essentials uses as foundation the Consensus Guidelines from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
Every module includes self-reflection learning opportunities which means that no matter how skilled or how inexperienced, every clinician can grow and learn more.
Interwoven in all the End-of-Life Essentials education is a focus on clinical compassion with a recognition that compassion in fast paced environments can happen. Along with gathering data on the patient’s biomedical situation learners are encouraged to consider the patient’s point-of-view as essential in understanding their presentation to an acute hospital. Consider the following acts of compassion and think about what you would be comfortable adopting:
To show empathy in end-of-life care is so important. Understanding what is important from a patient’s point of view is one way clinicians can shift their mindset towards end-of-life care.