ACPIC23: Paramedics and Palliative Care


Australasian College of Paramedicine International Conference (ACPIC23)

ACPIC 2023 delivered a wide range of clinical and research sessions from experts and leaders in paramedicine. Hosted in Melbourne (September 2023) the program was designed to inspire, educate and broaden horizons.

Conference theme: Lead - Evolve - Impact

Paramedics and Palliative Care

Paramedics and Palliative Care – who, what and why

This presentation will review the epidemiology and aetiology of palliative care patients who are likely to interact with paramedics. By understanding the needs of this patient group, paramedics can more confidently fill their own knowledge gaps and identify areas for system change.

Biography: Richard Armour

Richard is an Intensive Care Paramedic and Paramedic Researcher with experience in the United Kingdom, Canada, and most recently Australia. Richard was previously the Paramedic Practice Leader for Substance Use and Harm Reduction in British Columbia, Canada, a province experiencing severe harm as a result of the on-going war on drugs. Richard’s PhD work examines the ways in which paramedics can contribute to better patient-centred outcomes for people who use alcohol and other drugs.

Advance Care Directives within Palliative Care

Because legislation related to advance care planning varies between Australian states and territories, this session will focus on principles to use when interpreting written advance care planning documents. Informed consent on behalf of the person lacking medical decision-making capacity is the basis for understanding how advance care planning is applied to a decision.

Biography: A/Prof Barbara Hayes

Barbara Hayes is based in Victoria, where she has been involved in Advance Care Planning over the past 16 years. She has a background in Palliative Medicine and an interest in ethics and law related to end-of-life decision-making. Her PhD thesis was ‘Ethical CPR decision-making’. Barbara is no longer working clinically and focuses on teaching and research.

Palliative Care Connect Program – Ambulance Victoria

The rising demand for palliative care creates a corresponding need for responsive ambulance services. This presentation introduces the Palliative Care Connect Program within Ambulance Victoria's Patient Care Academy. Focused on elevating palliative paramedic practice, the program enhances capabilities, refines processes, and strengthens systems for improved care across the palliative care landscape.

Biography: Olivia Hedges

Olivia leads a portfolio of work focused on enabling and enhancing palliative paramedicine across Victoria. With a nursing foundation, she brings expertise from Intensive Care, Palliation, Organ Donation, Oncology, and Haematology fields. Formerly at Alfred Health and DonateLife Victoria, Olivia led nursing and project endeavours. Olivia is passionate about healthcare communication and skills development, reflected in her prior role as a trainer for the DonateLife Family Donation Conversation Workshop.

A practical approach

This presentation will explore some of the practical challenges that paramedics are likely to face such as the initial approach, recognition of the terminal stage of illness and communication with family members

Biography: Jo Kelly

Jo Kelly is a registered Nurse Practitioner completing a Master of Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) and has graduate Diploma’s in Palliative Care and Gerontology. Jo has been working in palliative care sector for 30 years across the inpatient and community sectors. In addition, Jo has been working in the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department and enjoys working alongside paramedics. Jo undertook qualifications to become a Neurocoach Practitioner to help people achieve the goals they are looking for - to foster selfcare and personal growth. She has her own business ‘What Matters Most’ which helps educate, support, and serve others.

Moderator: Dr Nigel Barr, Senior Lecturer, Paramedicine Discipline Leader and Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Paramedicine, University of the Sunshine Coast

Presented by Richard Armour, A/Prof Barbara Hayes, Olivia Hedges & Jo Kelly



95 minutes
20th Dec 2023
Member free
Non-member $29
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