Workforce in Practice


What we know

There is a large aged care workforce. Enrolled nurses and care workers provide the most direct care to older people. New roles such as Nurse Practitioners are contributing to the care of older people. Organisational support as well as training helps to improve workforce capacity and preparedness. General Practitioners are an important part of the aged care workforce.

What can I do?

Download or order a copy of the Practice Tip Sheets for Careworkers or Nurses. Perhaps start with:

  • Talking within the Aged Care Team
  • Grief and Loss among Staff
  • Continuity of Care
  • Case Conferences

Check out the useful resources are found on the Self-Care page.

Dealing with death and dying as part of your work can make you feel tired and stressed. Use the palliAGED Self-Care Plan (161kb pdf) to start and monitor self-care activities and recommend this to other team members. Helpguide has information about things you can do to take care of yourself.

Understand my responsibilities under the Aged Care Quality Standards and read the Understanding the Standards page in palliAGED to find out how the standards can support and improve quality of palliative care provided in residential aged care.

Be aware of my scope of practice.

Palliative care is normally a multidisciplinary approach to care so I make sure I know how to be a good team member and know what is required of me.

What can I learn?

If you feel uncertain about your skills check out palliAGED Online Learning. Modules are arranged by role/profession and by topic.

Watch the videos Work Together and Organisational Support in the ELDAC Home Care and Residential Aged Care Toolkits.

In the eLearning section of CareSearch check out the modules specific to Aged Care, GPs, Allied Health, General Palliative Care, Symptom management and other categories.

What can my organisation do?

Use the Palliative Approach for Nursing Assistants (PANA)_Knowledge Questionnaire (17 items), the PANA_Skills Questionnaire (13 items) and the PANA_Attitudes Questionnaire (10 items) (155kb pdf) to identify palliative care educational needs for careworkers in residential aged care.

Use the palliAGED Tip Sheets for Careworkers as part of regular training and upskilling.

Use the accompanying palliAGED Tips Sheets for Nurses to support nurses new to providing palliative care to older people, and for nurses responsible for training and education of careworkers.

The use of hand-held records or case-conferencing may assist with communication between team members. Download and use the palliAGED case conference forms for GPs, family members and care providers to assist the preparation and communication.

Organise a multidisciplinary case conference, at the initiation of palliative care, at a point of significant decline and for patients being discharged into the community from hospital. Case conferences can also be useful within the first 6-8 weeks of admission to a residential aged care facility.

Nurse practitioners may be a useful support to staff in managing end-of-life care. You can find out more about Nurse Practitioners at the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners.

Check out the tools that can be used to help identify and care for patients with palliative care needs:

Standard 7 of the Aged Care Quality Standards requires all members of the workforce to have regular evaluation of their performance and for organisations to support any need for training and development. The Understanding the Standards page in palliAGED explain how the standards can support and improve quality of palliative care provided in residential aged care.

Page updated 28 February 2023