Decision making


The paramedic says
Tyne discusses the importance of revisiting the expectations and wishes of patients and family members over the course of illness.(3:22)Video transcript

When attending a palliative care call, inevitably there will be decisions that need to be made about interventions intended to meet the goals of care. In helping patients and families to make informed decisions that align with quality end-of-life care, you will need to:

  • Discuss goals of care with the patient and family.
  • Review any of the patient’s existing decision-making documents.
  • Refer to your community guidelines, which will outline policies and procedures for contacting other health care providers (for consultation). 

  • Navigate challenges that arise from disagreement about the goals of care.
  • Be aware of potential impacts on the patient, family and yourself.

The decisions that families make at end of life can have significant impacts on their bereavement. This module provides guidance for navigating decisions and disagreements by offering considerations and conversation prompts.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the components and participants involved in a care plan.
  2. Identify your role in discussing wishes and goals of care with patients and family members.
  3. Summarize challenges and complicating factors you may face when discussing wishes and goals of care with patients and families.
  4. Highlight strategies and techniques you can use to navigate difficult conversations with patients and family members. 
  5. Identify potential impact on patients, families, and yourself.