The Expanding End of Life Care Project [EEOLCP] was founded in 2018 by Ellen Soutter and Rachael Lambe who are 3rd year student nurses and Student Quality Ambassadors at the University of Chester and is the sister project to their End of Life Care Resource Project.
The aim of the project is to improve student resilience in the provision of end of life care and follows on from their previous project the End of Life Care Resource Project [EOLCRP].
This EOLCRP comprised of a survey and the creation of teaching materials which have since been integrated into the University of Chester’s pre-registration nursing curriculum from December 2017 and has resulted in both Ellen and Rachael being shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Awards 2018, under the Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs category.
The survey received responses from students across 50 HEIs and 3 FEIs across England, Wales and Scotland and supported the authors’ initial thoughts that only a small percentage of respondents were introduced to end of life care at a time they felt most appropriate.
The success of the project far exceeded expectations and therefore the authors did not gain ethical approval before conducting this survey. As such it cannot be utilised as official research, however gives a general insight into student nurses’ perceptions across the UK.
Following this, Rachael and Ellen created a complete learning resource package to address the issues identified, working alongside end of life care experts Viki Whaley and the Knowsley and Community Integrated Advance Care Planning Team for Knowsley, St Helens and Halton to ensure the package was fit for purpose.
The resources included an interactive PowerPoint presentation and a card game based on The Conversations Game™ by Dying Matters.
Following the success of the initial project, the authors decided to share good practice and make resources available to likeminded students. This will assist students in working with their HEI to support their peers in building knowledge of end of life care and support networks available which, in turn, supports the development of emotional resilience.
Support will be provided to students throughout their journey to getting the resources integrated into the curriculum. By getting involved in the project, you will be working as an advocate for both students and service users. The impact you will have on the wellbeing of student nurses, along with the impact on student and service user experiences whilst simultaneously improving the care provided to patients approaching end of life will be commendable.
The authors are also happy to share the resources with academics, along with any other professionals wishing to take part in the project.
The feedback that the project has received so far has been extremely positive, with students from four HEIs joining the project and working to make a positive contribution to student affairs. If you have any comments, questions or would like to be involved please contact [email protected]