Patients at the end of life commonly experience an increase in the intensity of symptoms and seek assistance from hospitals. Ultimately, every nurse needs to know about end of life care.
End of life Essentials (EOLE) provides free, evidence-based, online education on end of life care for health professionals working in hospitals. The modules were developed from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) National Consensus Statement1 designed to improve quality of end of life care.2
Each module focuses on a specific aspect of clinical care, including patient-centred communication, recognising the end of life, goals of care, teamwork, and patient states of mind. Some modules also focus on end of life care for patients in specific settings, including the emergency department, paediatrics, chronic complex illnesses, and patients who are imminently dying.2
The modules include self-reflection learning opportunities, which means that no matter how skilled or inexperienced, every clinician can grow and learn more. Interwoven within the education is a focus on clinical compassion, with the recognition that compassion in fast-paced environments can happen. A range of downloadable toolkits assist teams in implementing a unified approach to end of life care.3
To date, more than 23,000 health professionals have accessed the education, with nurses making up 71.6% of registrations. Ongoing evaluation shows that the education improves self-perceived knowledge, skill, attitude, and confidence in end of life care,4-6 and enhances ability to initiate end of life conversations.7
The EOLE team are currently developing new education that aligns with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards8 to assist hospitals with change management, leadership, and governance.
For more information, go to: www.endoflifeessentials.com.au
1 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end of life care. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2015.
2 End of life Essentials. Education Modules. 2021. https://www.endoflifeessentials.com.au/tabid/5195/Default.aspx
3 Hutchinson C, Tieman J, Devery K. Evaluation of a toolkit resource package to support positive workplace behaviours in relation to quality end of life care in Australian hospitals. BMJ Open Quality. 2018;7(4):e000286.
4 Rawlings D, Winsall M, Yin H, Devery K. What is a compassionate response in the emergency department? Learner evaluation of an End of life Essentials online education module. Emerg Med Australas. 2021. Online ahead of print.
5 Rawlings D, Winsall M, Yin H, Devery K, Morgan DD. Evaluation of an End of life Essentials Online Education Module on Chronic Complex Illness End of life Care. Healthcare (Basel). 2020;8(3).
6 Rawlings D, Yin H, Devery K, Morgan D, Tieman J. End of life Care in Acute Hospitals: Practice Change Reported by Health Professionals Following Online Education. Healthcare. 2020;8(3):254.
7 Morgan DD, Litster C, Winsall M, Devery K, Rawlings D. “It’s given me confidence”: a pragmatic qualitative evaluation exploring the perceived benefits of online end of life education on clinical care. BMC Palliat Care. 2021;20(1):57.
8 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. 2nd ed. Sydney, NSW: ACSQHC; 2017.
Kim Devery BSocSc (Honours) Associate Professor Academic Lead – Palliative Care, Ageing and Clinical Rehabilitation Lead – End of life Essentials Palliative and Supportive Services, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
Deb Rawlings BSc (Hons) Nurs., Grad Cert Education (Higher Educ), MPH
Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Palliative Care Co-Investigator – End of life Essentials Palliative and Supportive Services, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
Megan Winsall BSc., Grad Dip PH Assistant – End of life Essentials Palliative and Supportive Services, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University
Huahua Yin PhD Research Assistant – End of life Essentials Palliative and Supportive Services, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University