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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.
Paramedics’ scope of practice has traditionally been limited to providing life-sustaining interventions for acute emergencies. But they also have the unique potential to support and fulfil the wishes of dying patients who prefer to spend their end of life at home. In this blog, Madeleine Juhrmann of HammondCare discusses how the role of paramedics in palliative care can be broadened and provides some example initiatives.
Health professionals working in hospitals are faced with several barriers when implementing evidence based practice in end-of-life care, including the amount of evidence to read and the lack of time to appraise it. To help overcome these barriers, Deb Rawlings and Jane Durbridge from the End-of-Life Essentials project discuss how a free practice change toolkit can assist in bringing about positive changes at the point of care.
Symptom management is a large component of maintaining a person’s comfort at the end of life, along with supporting spiritual, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the person and their loved ones. Karen Gregory from Resthaven Inc. discusses how routine comfort measures often thought about at this time are around pain relief, comfortable positioning, skin care, urinary and bowel care, mouth and eye care. She refers to the palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets and gives tips on simple techniques to maintain comfort of the eyes and mouth which can make a high impact on the quality of life during the last days of life.
The ELDAC Home Care Toolkit is available online through the ELDAC website (www.eldac.com.au) and connects aged care staff working in home and community care with tools and resources to deliver quality palliative care and advance care planning. The toolkit provides information and guidance to support clients and their families. In this blog Professor Deborah Parker and Dr Holly Mack from the University of Technology (UTS) explain how the toolkit assists in clinical care, education and learning and organisational support.
Training residential aged care (RAC) staff is important to support their knowledge to ensure excellent palliative care to their residents. Marg Adams from Palliative Care Queensland discusses her involvement in the Connecting End of Life Care Project in Northern Queensland (CELC-NQ) and highlights how the palliAGED Practice Tip Sheets have been used as a key resource by the sector.