Hospice Care: Managing Symptoms at the End of Life


People undergo many physical and mental changes as they reach the end of life. Every caregiver should recognize the common symptoms that indicate approaching death. Many caregivers have never cared for a dying person or witnessed a death. It is hard—both physically and emotionally—to know that the person for whom you are caring is dying, but, if you know what symptoms to expect, you will be better prepared to provide care. Caregivers as well as all others involved with the life of a dying person should understand what happens at the end of life and how they can help. This course corresponds to the Federal regulations F309 & L524.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Association of Social Work Boards - New Jersey


This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards - ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #37 Course #877 from 12/20/2016 to 12/20/2018. Social workers will receive the following type and number of credit(s): Clinical Social Work Practice 1.00.

New Jersey social workers not pleased with a grievance resolution provided by Relias Learning, LLC may appeal to the approving entity or their jurisdictional board.

Course Delivery Method and Format: Asynchronous Distance Learning

Course Details

Course Code: REL-SRC-0-HCMSEL
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 3/31/2019
Learning Objectives:
Describe the general dying process
Identify the physical and psychological changes at one to three months before death
Identify the physical and psychological changes a few weeks or days before imminent death
Describe the process of death pronouncement
List support strategies after death

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Overview of the Dying Process A. The Terminal Patients’ Right to Know End-of-Life Options Act B. What is Death? C. Review Section 3: Common Symptoms at the End of Life A. Coping B. Common Physical Symptoms C. Delirium D. Scenario E. Loss of Appetite F. Nausea and Vomiting G. Physical Pain H. Constipation I. Dyspnea J. Fatigue K. Review Section 4: Final Stages of Death A. Circulatory System B. Energy C. Integumentary System D. Neurological System E. Elimination F. Respiratory System G. Scenario H. Review Section 5: Death Pronouncement A. Who Can Pronounce Death? B. Steps in Pronouncing Death C. Death Notification D. Hospice E. Presentation F. Review Section 6: Supportive Interventions Following Death A. Focus on the Family B. How to Help C. Review Section 7: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations

Expert Reviewer: Nancy Wicklin, RN, MS
Ms. Wicklin has a BS in Nursing, an MS in Education, and an MS in Health Informatics. She has held positions as Assistant Nurse Manager, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Informatics Consultant, and Webmaster. She has been creating Web-based courseware for healthcare workers for more than 10 years. Disclosure: Nancy Wicklin, RN, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Sandra S. Lentz, RN
Ms. Lentz has 25 years of experience in the home health and hospice industry in operations and consulting roles. She has been responsible for accreditation, regulatory compliance, performance improvement, disease management, clinical benchmarking, and service utilization for home health, hospice, and durable medical equipment organizations. She has also served as Director of Regulatory Services for the Association for Home Hospice Care of North Carolina. Disclosure: Sandra S. Lentz, RN has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Cynthia Smith, RN, MSN
Ms. Smith has 29 years of experience in acute, critical and long term care in clinical and administrative roles.  She has been responsible for regulatory compliance, performance improvement, operations management and clinical practice for acute and critical care, hospice, and long term care.  She is currently a clinical educator for the medical and oncology units in a 222-bed acute care hospital.   Disclosure: Cynthia Smith, RN, MSN has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Karen C. Schnaufer, BSN, RN
Karen C. Schnaufer, BSN, RN, Content Writer, Relias Learning, has held positions as staff nurse, charge nurse, research nurse clinician, and clinical instructor with over 25 years of clinical practice in a broad range of specialties: med/surg, pediatrics, long term care, mental health, research, and IDD. Prior to becoming a Registered Nurse, Ms. Schnaufer successfully challenged the Practical Nursing Boards in NY. After working with the Breast Oncology Research group at Duke, Ms. Schnaufer switched her focus to the area of IDD and worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues, who live in group homes. Among her various responsibilities in this area was to train direct support staff and clinicians in medical issues/medication administration, participate in state surveys, providing and implementing plans of correction, as well as, serving on various committees, such as Human Rights, to help improve the lives of the individuals supported. To this day, she continues to volunteer in this realm. A veteran of the U.S.A.F., Ms. Schnaufer is committed to creating relevant and intelligent continuing education courses for healthcare professionals throughout the continuum of care. Disclosure: Karen C. Schnaufer, BSN, RN has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry level Administrators; entry level Nurses; entry level Social Workers; in the following settings: Home Health, Hospice, Post-Acute Care, Residential Care.
F Tags:
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.