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P020: Paramedic comfort with providing palliative support: pre-implementation survey

  • A. Carter (a1), M. Arab (a1), M. Harrison (a1), J. Goldstein (a1), J. Jensen (a1), M. Lecours (a1), K. Houde (a1) and K. Downer (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Paramedics are sometimes called for crisis management and relief of symptoms or for patients receiving palliative care. To address the mismatch between the system protocols and resources, and patient’s goals of care, a new protocol, new medications, and an 8-hour training program Learning Essentials Approach to Palliative Care (LEAP) were implemented in our provincial EMS system. Methods: Prior to attending their training session paramedics received an invitation to complete an online survey regarding their comfort, confidence, and attitudes toward delivering palliative care. Comfort and confidence questions were scored on a 4-point Likert scale, while attitudes toward specific aspects of care were scored on a 7-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Identifiers will permit linkage of these responses to a repeat survey post-implementation. Results: 188 (58%) paramedics completed the survey of the 325 who opened the link. 134 (68%) were male with a mean age of 38.5 years. 95 (50%) were primary care paramedics. The average experience as a paramedic was 12.7 years, with an estimated mean number of palliative calls per year of 9.6 each. On a 4 point scale, most (156, 83%) were comfortable with providing care to someone with palliative goals, and 130 (69.1%) were comfortable providing care without transport. Only 82 (43.6%) were confident they had the tools to deliver this care, and 76 (40.4%) were confident they could do so without transport to hospital. On a 7 point scale, paramedics disagreed with the statement “caring for dying persons is not a worthwhile experience for me”, median 7 (IQR 5-7). Paramedics also disagreed with the statement “Dying persons make me feel uneasy”, median 5 (IQR 4-6). Conclusion: Prior to the implementation of the new protocol, medications, and training, most paramedics were comfortable with the concept of providing care with palliative goals and felt that caring for dying persons is a worthwhile experience, but they were not confident that they have the tools and resources to do so. This suggests paramedics would be open to system improvements to meet an unmet healthcare need for crisis management of patients with palliative goals of care.

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P020: Paramedic comfort with providing palliative support: pre-implementation survey

  • A. Carter (a1), M. Arab (a1), M. Harrison (a1), J. Goldstein (a1), J. Jensen (a1), M. Lecours (a1), K. Houde (a1) and K. Downer (a1)...

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