Education is a key part of initial training and preparation of the aged care workforce who will provide care for older Australians approaching the end of their life. This information relates to training and education of medical staff, nurses, care workers and students.
Enrolled nurses and care workers provide most direct care to older people. [1,2] Many have limited training and feel inadequately prepared for their job. [1-4] There is increasing recognition of the importance of staff training and education and on their effectiveness as interventions that achieve outcomes for staff and for the people for whom they provide care. [1-6] Tools to assess palliative care competency for care workers are available but are limited in their suitability for those with language or literacy problems. 
Nursing students also feel unprepared to deal with issues related to death and dying and there are indications that schools of nursing may not be adequately educating nursing students to care for patients at the end of life. 
Including palliative care in undergraduate education is an important way of providing knowledge, skill, and competencies about palliative care and can improve attitudes toward caring in advanced disease and at the end of life. Experiential learning appears to be valuable. [2,5,6]
Few reviews included prospective comparative interventions. Many dealt with analyses of surveys, interviews and workforce reports. The conduct of the reviews was adequate.
Page updated 23 May 2017