Natalie’s story

Empowering Paramedics to Honour Patient Preferences

As a front-line paramedic, Natalie Labelle recalls her encounters with patients who were nearing end of life as being some of her most difficult calls. Her biggest fear was that she might cause or prolong her patient’s suffering.

“I still remember the feeling of hopelessness; the feeling of not being able to support the patient fully; the inability to adequately care for pain, suffering, discomfort, and shortness of breath.”

As Natalie advanced in her career to a regulatory position, she knew that in her new role she had the opportunity to affect change and improve care for patients facing life-limiting illness. She found Pallium’s LEAP (Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative care) training for paramedics, with it’s evidence-based and inter-professional approach, to be an effective solution that filled a major gap in care for the community and the patient.

“My experience with LEAP inspired me. I found a new motivation, combining passion and work, allowing me to make decisions based on the best interest of the patient. The LEAP course left me feeling empowered.”

The course offers a standardized approach, using educational theories and tools to ensure that an individual care provider is knowledgeable and comfortable in implementing a greater array of care and takes into account the patient’s preferences for treatment options.

“I have no doubt that Pallium LEAP courses can impact health care in Canada, striving for excellence in facilitating the delivery of a continuum of care and allowing the patient to receive the right care, at the right time and with the best possible outcome; and fostering a more sustainable healthcare system.”