Background The opportunity arose to develop and facilitate end of life education to the paramedic service within the regional locality in response to the specific learning needs identified by the service and as part of a commissioning commitment.
Aim The purpose of providing this education was to share specialist palliative care knowledge to improve the care and support offered to those patients and their families who utilise the paramedic service, across the region. This unified approach promotes the quality of person-centred care provision and increased confidence within the paramedic service staff with the emphasis on a shared vision to enhance seamless end of life care.
Method The curriculum that was developed and delivered focused on the agenda of the learners. The education was delivered during three evening workshops over a period of three months by a combination of specialist hospice staff. The topics covered included:
Recognition of the dying process and communication
Advance care planning including resuscitation discussions
Symptom control issues and the role of the out of hours service.
Results The workshops were delivered through some elements of didactic presentation, interactive group discussion and examples of case studies that were provided by the paramedics themselves from past experience with the focus on experiential learning with a high uptake. To date, two workshops have been delivered and with a total of 40 staff participating.
Conclusion As a consequence of this education, the feedback thus far has been of a positive and enquiring manner with a yearning to continue to address further learning needs. Further analysis is required following delivery of the final workshop in July 2018. An early outcome from this initiative is the commitment to deliver yearly workshops between both specialities to promote a more cohesive approach in working cross discipline to enhance the quality of end of life care.
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