Background Responding to a gap in the healthcare workforce training in advance care planning (ACP) and advanced communications skills, an ACP training programme was initiated. As part of this, an intense 2.5 day Level 2 training course was developed.
Aim The course aims to develop participant's knowledge, experience of, and confidence in ACP. Through improving the communication skills of the healthcare workforce, patients and whanau/family are supported to make informed decisions regarding their end of life preferences.
Methods Pre-course material provides substantial background and theory in ACP and communication. Participants are also required to engage in their own ACP process before attending the course. Video clips and case studies of people's experiences are used to bring patients and whanau/family into the training environment. Facilitated role play (involving a professional actor and video play back) is a substantial component of the course. Each course can be attended by up to 10 participants.
Results 164 clinicians completed the course in the 2012 pilot period. Course evaluation notes 93% of participants would definitely recommend the course to other clinicians.
Qualitative data analysis of pre and post confidence scores demonstrates statistically significantly increased confidence in:
explaining what ACP is, structuring conversations, the benefits of ACP
explaining the NZ legal and ethical framework
working with patients agenda, handling strong emotions
discussing future care options.
Discussion This evidence based training programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand. In 2013 we aim to train a further 200 healthcare staff.
Conclusion The course significantly increases participant's confidence in communicating with patients and their whanau/families.
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