Education is a key part of initial training and preparation, and ongoing professional development 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, careworkers 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 ongoing 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] It is important that outcomes of educational interventions are not limited to perception of improved care but are measurable and meaningful.  Tools to assess palliative care competency for care workers are available but are limited in their suitability for those with language or literacy problems. 
There is a need to better understand how to provide accessible and targeted educational interventions and resources to careworkers in the community. However, effective teaching methods include opportunities for workers to share and exchange new information, and utilise peers and colleagues for support, mentorship and exchange of knowledge. [8,9]
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 people 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 08 June 2021