End of life care in the community: the role of ambulance clinicians

Ambulance clinicians are frequently called to patients who are approaching the end of their life. This article presents an overview of some of the issues that impact on the delivery of care to patients at the end of life, including symptom and urgent care needs in the last few days of life, preferences for care/place of care and coordination of care. Each of these areas pose different challenges for ambulance clinicians. As a way of addressing some of the issues, this article outlines an online education package in end of life care, which has been specifically designed for ambulance clinicians in response to an analysis of their training needs. The learning outcomes and educational approach is described. The education aims to help equip ambulance clinicians with the knowledge and confidence that they need to deliver high-quality urgent end of life care.

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