Transferring Learning into Palliative Care Practice

Recently, Dr Stuart Ekberg and the PEPA team presented a research paper at the 13th Australian Palliative Care Conference. The study examined how structured workplace activities enhance learners’ scope to change palliative care practice. From semi-structured interviews with 33 learners involved in PEPA (interviewed before and after their scheduled completion of a workplace activity) it was found that three key strategies helped with the successful transfer of learning into practice:

  1. identifying an activity with viable scope;
  2. identifying and involving key change agents
  3. identifying and utilising resources and support.

In contrast, learners who had not completed post-placement activities did not mention these strategies. In conclusion, it was found that where learners identify the functional significance of their learning, workplace activities provided structured opportunities to transfer knowledge. For these activities to successfully influence palliative care practice, learners must employ strategies to appropriately prepare the transfer of their learning to suit their professional role and workplace. There is scope for educators to prepare learners to utilise these strategies. For further information about this research please email the PEPA team at pepa@qut.edu.au.