What is the impact of learning during a postgraduate palliative care course on the professional lives of alumni and on their ability to change work practice?

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Introduction: Palliative & Supportive Services, Flinders University offers post-­‐graduate courses in Palliative Care / Palliative Care in Aged Care, offered exclusively by distance education (e-learning). Our belief is that palliative care higher education providers need to equip clinicians with the knowledge and ability to become life-­‐long learners and critical thinkers in a rapidly changing environment, via the delivery of a wide range of clinically significant topics. Aims: To explore graduates views of the impact of their course, and their perceived increase in knowledge as a result of their study. Methods: We administered a retrospec,ve online survey to alumni asking about such issues as: the impact of learning for prac,ce, their ability to influence change and content missing from the course (Flinders University ethics no: 7154). Results: Seventy-­‐six alumni responded to the survey of which 74% (n=55) were nurses. Most respondents (88%, n=65) agreed that broadening of critical thinking was assisted by their study. Seventy six per cent (n=56) agreed that they were empowered to base clinical practice on evidence and importantly, 70% (n=52) stated that study helped develop more confidence in tackling unfamiliar problems or clinical issues. Ninety three per cent (n=71) have been able to effect change in their team and 80% (n=61) in their workplace or organisation. Discussion: With demands on health systems and individual clinicians to meet the needs of dying Australians, many nurses working in palliative care or related areas pursue higher education to further their knowledge and skills. Prospective students are more likely to choose a course that is of good quality, is targeted at them, can be easily accessed, and has been formally evaluated by their peers. Conclusion: The discipline has a commitment to the need to get it right for future students to help empower them in care at the end of life. By conducting this survey we hope to ensure that we are providing education on palliative care that is needed and valued by the palliative care sector and beyond.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2016
    EventFrom Foundation to Future: Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA) 6th Biennial Conference - Hotel Realm, Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 11 Sept 201612 Sept 2016
    Conference number: 6
    https://palliverse.com/2016/08/20/from-foundation-to-future-palliative-care-nurses-australia-pcna-6th-biennial-conference-11-12-september-2016-hotel-realm-canberra/ (Conference flyer)


    ConferenceFrom Foundation to Future
    Abbreviated titlePCNA 2016
    Internet address


    • palliative care
    • postgraduate
    • graduates
    • survey


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