Palliative care: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Sunday, January 03, 2021

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Describe how opioid and non-opioid analgesics are used in the management of pain in a palliative setting.
  • Outline how common symptoms such nausea, vomiting and constipation may be treated in patients with a life-limiting illness.
  • Advise on the continuous subcutaneous administration of medicines using a syringe driver.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 90 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital pre-registration pharmacists, and will help you achieve GPhC performance standards such as these:
  • A1.6  Make decisions which demonstrate clear and logical thought
  • A3 Manage problems
  • B1.4  Elicit all relevant information by the use of appropriate questions
  • C2.1 Provide considered and correct answers to queries, founded on research-based evidence

If you are a foundation pharmacist, this tutorial may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine (medicine-medicine, medicine-patient, medicine-disease interactions)
  • 1.7  Monitoring medicine therapy
  • 3.2  Knowledge (drug interactions)
  • 3.3  Analysing information
  • 3.4  Providing information

Continuing professional development

Finally, here are some CPD activities you could consider:

★  Find out if you have a palliative care team at your Trust or in the community and arrange to shadow them. 
★  Establish whether you have any local treatment guidelines on managing symptom control in patients living with a life-limiting illness.
★  Arrange to observe a syringe driver being set up and administered to a patient.