Exploring the impact of palliative care education for care assistants employed in residential aged care facilities in Otago, New Zealand

Lis Ellen Latta, Jean Ross


Palliative care is a growing specialty in New Zealand with many well established hospices and a growing number of hospital based advisory services. Palliative care is an element of all healthcare services and the aged care sector is one of those services where many of the residents have palliative care needs. In this setting, care assistants make up a large component of the workforce providing care for residents with increasingly complex needs. This article reports the results of a research study that used semi structured interviews to explore the impact that attending a palliative care course had on care assistants and their practice. Factors identifying the implementation of learning in the workplace were also identified. The results showed that while attending the course had a positive impact on participants; they were restricted in their ability to apply new learning in the workplace. Consequently, recommendations are made to enhance workforce development in the aged care sector and to minimise the barriers to the implementation of learning.


Palliative Care Education; Care Assistants; residential aged care; learning transfer

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol7iss2id155