Whether your role in the Australian health care workforce is based in a hospital, hospice, residential aged care, or a primary health care or community care setting, you will at some point go on a palliative care journey with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and their family. Many different members of the health care workforce can contribute to end of life care for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. The health care workforce roles that may be involved in their palliative care journey might include palliative care specialists, doctors, nurses, residential aged care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers, health practitioners and liaison officers, and allied health practitioners such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists and speech pathologists. Traditional healers may also play a role for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Therefore, working together as a multidisciplinary team to provide interprofessional care is essential to ensuring the best possible palliative care journey for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and their families.
The Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Chronic Disease Knowledge Translation and Exchange (CREATE) has developed a resource to support staff and organisations working with ACCHOs - Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations in practice: Sharing ways of working from the ACCHO sector.
"Our indigenous health workers... if we didn't have them I just don't know what we would do. They are just brilliant. h."
Quote from Northern Territory Health Care provider.
Source: McGrath PD, Patton MA, Ogilvie KF, Rayner RD, McGrath ZM, Holewa HA. The case for Aboriginal Health Workers in palliative care. Aust Health Rev. 2007 Aug;31(3):430-9. Page 436.
Last updated 25 March 2022