Sarah McIntosh – Placement Outcome

Sarah McIntosh works on the beautiful north-west coast of Tasmania as a Clinical Support Officer with Ambulance Tasmania. She undertook her PEPA placement with the Specialist Palliative Care Service in Burnie in October 2020.

Sarah’s post-placement activity was delivering a tutorial to graduate paramedics who had little, to no understanding about palliative care, and what their role was and how they could assist their palliative patients.

Sarah’s tutorial provided valuable information on the following topics:

  • What is palliative care
  • Understanding Ambulance Tasmania’s role in palliative care
  • What is a life-limiting illness
  • Understanding the three illness trajectories
  • Understanding the type of people who need palliative care and who can provide care
  • How to recognise the last days of life and what symptoms can be managed, and
  • What are palliative emergencies.
After completion of the tutorial, the graduate paramedics had an increased understanding of symptom management and how they play a role in this and felt more at ease in managing the patient who is in the last days life. Their awareness of the different life-limiting illnesses not being confined to different cancers has increased. Learning about preserving function and quality of life when palliative emergencies occur was of great importance to the graduate paramedics.

The tutorial delivered by Sarah provided very valuable and timely information to graduate paramedics.
Photo: Aerial view of Burnie at sunset.

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