Palliative care education and training

We fund a range of organisations to give free palliative care education and training programs for health and aged care workers. Find a program or course that suits your learning needs.

About workforce education and training

Everyone who works primary care and aged care has an important role to play in providing high-quality palliative care.

To support the delivery of palliative care in Australia, we fund organisations to produce resources and deliver education and training courses. These resources and programs focus on palliative care skills and competencies that are common to everyone. This includes:

  • the principles of palliative care
  • end of life care
  • ethical and legal issues
  • communication skills
  • psychosocial and spiritual issues
  • identifying and controlling symptoms
  • multidisciplinary care and teamwork.

Palliative care training can increase your knowledge, skills and confidence to care for and communicate with people who have a life-limiting illness.

You can access education and training through:

  • online or in-person courses and training programs
  • in-service training
  • professional colleges’ continuing professional development (CPD) programs.

Watch this video about the benefits of palliative care education and training.

1:47

Professor Deborah Parker, Training Provider, End of Life Essentials (EOLE): To know that you can change the end of life care for somebody who's dying is a real privilege. And if you have the skills and the knowledge to actually make that the best experience for both the person dying and the family, that's incredibly rewarding.

Text on screen: Free palliative care is available for anyone who works in primary care or aged care.

Gabrielle Raikiwasa, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner: It's as important as birth. We need to be talking about death when we're focusing on our healthcare community. Planning, education and having those difficult conversations is an absolute must.

Professor Jennifer Tieman, Training Provider, CareSearch and PalliAGED: One of the things that health professionals can really not recognise is how much reward they will feel in providing palliative care. It is not just a hard set of clinical skills. There are really important skills which are about how we engage with people and that comes through learning skills which they can learn through training. And there are resources that are free to access that health professionals can make use of in providing care for people coming to the end of their life.

Brigitte Karle, Nurse Practitioner: We're going to have an aged care population of 80 and above who we've treated so beautifully with our modern health technology that they are going to be living to 80 or 90 and that's why it's so important to have more and more education.

Dr Caroline Phelan, Training Provider, End of Life Essentials (EOLE): I think all healthcare professionals want to know that we helped somebody come to the end of their life in a good, calm manner where they had all of their care needs met.

Text on screen: Free courses and resources are available to anyone who works in aged care or primary care. Topics include psychosocial and spiritual issues, legal and ethical concerns, identifying and managing symptoms, communication skills and multidisciplinary care.

Text on screen: Find out more at health.gov.au/palliative-care-education.

Training programs

There are education and training programs available for primary care and aged care workers.

Find a program that is relevant to your role, scope of practice, and learning needs.

Primary care education, training and resources

Aged care education, training and resources

Find more information about learning opportunities for anyone who works in primary care and aged care.

Communication toolkits

We developed communication toolkits that health and aged care organisations and providers can use to encourage the workforce to complete free palliative care education and training. 

Toolkits are available with content and resources tailored for:

  • aged care workers
  • general practitioners
  • nurses
  • allied health professionals. 

Resources include:

  • editorial content
  • posters
  • videos
  • brochures
  • social media content.

Use the content and resources in the toolkits to encourage people who work in health or aged care or your staff to complete palliative care education and training. This will help them deliver quality palliative care.

Contact

Palliative care contact

Contact the palliative care team for information about our palliative care initiatives and strategies and help with any of its related resources.
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