PEPA provides an opportunity for all members of the healthcare team to develop skills in the palliative approach to care by undertaking a supervised observational placements (two to five days) within a specialist palliative care service (host site). The focus of PEPA placements are to assist you to expand your knowledge and skills in the palliative approach to care.
This opportunity is not designed to develop you as a specialist palliative care provider, but rather to help you incorporate the principles of palliative care into your day-to-day practice.
PEPA provides placements two ways:
- A standard PEPA placement, where you leave your workplace and go to a specialist palliative care workplace
- A Reverse PEPA Placement where a palliative care specialist comes to your workplace to facilitate small group learning.
Placements are available in all Australian states and territories for members of the healthcare team from a range of professions, roles, specialties, and contexts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Professionals and care workers in community / residential aged care are eligible to participate and we encourage applications from people working in these roles in regional, rural, and remote areas.
As part of PEPA placements we require proof of your completed COVID vaccination. Our PEPA host sites have Immunosuppressed patients in their care which need to be protected. PEPA placement participants are required to be fully vaccinated to qualify for placement. It will be expected that PEPA placement participants will be able to show their digital certificate when asked during a placement.
The forms required for a standard PEPA Placement activity are located in Community of Practice – Workplace Learning
Read on to find out more about PEPA placements…
Your supervised clinical placement can include experience in one of the following settings:
- An inpatient palliative care unit, which can provide experience in the ongoing management of patients, case conferencing and the role of the multidisciplinary team
- An acute hospital or regional consultancy service, which involves experience in the management of people with a life-limiting illness and family / carer needs, and management of complex problems
- A specialty clinical setting such as oncology, renal medicine, neurology or aged care, or identified priority areas including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and care of persons from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- A community palliative care service, which will provide experience in the management of patient and family / carer needs in the community and support the development of knowledge of resources and equipment available for care in the home.
The aims of the PEPA placement are to:
- Further improve the skill and confidence of members of the healthcare team across a variety of settings to work with people affected by life-limiting illness
- Provide opportunities to ensure members of the healthcare team across the continuum of care are aware of, and provide culturally-responsive palliative care and end-of-life support including supporting care preferences, spiritual requirements and bereavement expression for people with palliative care needs
- Enhance linkages between specialist palliative care and other members of the healthcare team involved in caring for people at the end of life.
On completion of the placement, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of the application of the principles of palliative care in the clinical setting
- Identify the needs of individuals with a life-limiting illness and their family / carers, including care preferences, spiritual requirements and bereavement expression
- Appreciate the benefits of timely and appropriate access to palliative care services
- Identify the role of your profession / work role in managing issues faced by individuals with a life-limiting illness
- Demonstrate an enhanced understanding of culturally-responsive palliative care provision
- Identify services and resources to support individuals with a life-limiting illness and their families
- Recognise your own knowledge base and scope of practice regarding palliative care provision
- Identify personal coping and self-care strategies to effectively manage the issues related to working in this field.
A key component of the learning will also be developing networks with local palliative care providers that may assist you in your own practice when providing care to people affected by life-limiting illness.
Post-Placement Workplace Activity Outcome
In addition to learning in a palliative care specialist service, you will be supported to implement a planned activity within your own workplace within three months of completing the placement. A key component of PEPA placements is that learning is designed to promote transfer into PEPA participants’ workplaces. Learning activities are designed to provide ongoing education and support to PEPA participants who have attended standard or reverse placements to reinforce learning and enhance the quality of palliative care.
The forms required for a standard PEPA Placement activity are located in the Community of Practice page – Workplace Learning
The workplace activity will be shared within the PEPA Community of Practice page within this website. The sharing of your learning and story is important to inspiring other general healthcare workers and professionals like you to learn more about palliative care to support patients in your care.
Financial support may be available to assist your professional development and you can contact your PEPA team in your state or territory to find out more about support for professional development here. Contact PEPA Team
For more information about how a PEPA Placement would work for you in your state or territory and to apply for a placement click on the link for the state or territory where you live.