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Program goals

  1. Improve the care of seriously ill patients and their families.
  2. Improve clinician satisfaction, by building generalist palliative care knowledge and clinical skills with an emphasis on communication across disciplines.
  3. Promote the understanding and integration of palliative care across the continuum of care for CHI Franciscan Health. Integration is accomplished by normalizing the utilization of palliative care in all patient care settings at any stage of illness and at all levels of skill from generalist palliative care to specialist palliative care.

Program objectives

  1. Professionalism
    • Demonstrating our Core Values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence; reflect upon our patients’ inherent dignity and worthiness of respect, protection and care that each human life possesses.
    • Demonstrate model for patient-clinician relationship building to foster both patient and family satisfaction, and clinician satisfaction.
    • Reflect on personal and professional experiences and values related to care of the seriously ill or dying patient.
    • Reflect on how patients and families experience similar thoughts and emotions when faced with serious illness and subsequent loss.
    • Reflect on the losses related to the diagnosis of serious/life threatening illness.
    • Reflect on the importance of looking at symptoms as clues to the experience of suffering in illness.
    • Differentiate between curing and healing in relationship centered care.
  2. Patient care/Medical knowledge
    • Examine the differences between the traditional model of curative/palliative trajectory versus palliative as a continuum of care.
    • Outline three tools to identify patients for whom transitions may be imminent.
    • Recognize the difference between substituted judgment and patient best interest.
    • Review the trajectory of dementia and the prognostic indicators for progression toward end of life.
    • Outline alternatives to withholding attempts at cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
    • Reflect on medical goals compared with patient/family goals.
    • Formulate two possible medical recommendations that match patient preferences.
    • Identify three reasons why it is important to prognosticate.
    • Reflect on the barriers to prognosticating and transitioning care.
    • Reflect on current strategies for prognostication.
    • Describe the importance of functional status as a prognostic indicator.
    • Outline professional responsibility in making a medical recommendation.
    • Identify the questions and concerns of families surrounding the use of artificial hydration and nutrition in patients with advanced dementia.
    • Identify the concerns of clinicians surrounding the use of artificial hydration and nutrition in patients with advanced dementia.
    • Outline how to make a balanced recommendation regarding Code status.
    • Differentiate between chronic and acute pain.
    • Demonstrate how to assess pain in order to establish realistic goals for analgesia.
    • Demonstrate safe opioid prescribing and titration.
    • Outline how to assess and treat dyspnea.
    • Develop a plan for pain/symptom management in the clinical scenario.
  3. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    • Practice the concept of asking before telling.
    • Recognize and respond to patient cues.
    • Demonstrate the use of “words that work” in eliciting the patient story and in establishing goals of care.
    • Identify three language tools which acknowledge uncertainty.
    • Identify three situations where serious news may need to be communicated.
    • Identify aspects of effective and ineffective delivery of serious news.
    • Explain the use of “teach back” in determining decisional capacity.
    • List language pitfalls to avoid when discussing Code Status.
  4. Practice Based Learning and Improvement
    • Identify a five step model for establishing goals of care.
    • Practice / utilize a model for the patient/family meeting.
  5. Systems Based Practice
    • Identify the utility of POLST in the clinical setting.
    • List five Hospice benefits.
    • Differentiate between specialist and generalist palliative care and the reason for incorporating generalist palliative care into practice.

Note: The Palliative Care Academy is aimed at training physicians and mid-level clinicians. If you are a health care professional such as a nurse, social worker or case manager and you are interested in attending a session, please do not register until you have communicated with Diane Fuson at the email address below.

Contact us

For more information please email Diane Fuson at: