This course presents the purpose, scope, and practice of palliative care for nurses in any setting. It identifies the focus of palliative care, which is providing relief from symptoms and stress that come with serious illness and treatment, and the goal, which is to improve the quality of life for both the individual and their loved ones. A systems approach is demonstrated, including attention to the psychosocial domain. Completing this course will allow you to effectively employ palliative care techniques for the management and relief of symptoms associated with serious illness.
Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Palliative Care A. Meet Marvin B. What is Palliative Care? C. Defining Palliative Care D. The Palliative Care Team E. Practice Guidelines F. Who Receives Palliative Care? G. Review H. The Domains of Palliative Care I. Assessment of Symptoms J. Review K. Summary Section 3: The Neurologic, Respiratory, and Cardiovascular Systems A. Neurologic Symptoms B. Dyspnea C. Interventions for Dyspnea D. Cough E. Interventions for Cough F. Hiccups G. Heart Failure and Other Cardiovascular Issues H. Review I. Summary Section 4: The Gastronitestinal and Genitourinary Systems A. Cachexia and Anorexia B. Interventions for Anorexia and Cachexia C. Dehydration D. Nausea and Vomiting E. Interventions for Nausea and Vomiting F. Constipation G. Bowel Obstruction H. Fecal Impaction I. Diarrhea and Fecal Incontinence J. Interventions for Diarrhea and Fecal Incontinence K. Genitourinary Considerations L. Review M. Summary Section 5: Dermatologic Considerations A. Caring for the Skin B. Pressure Injury and Wounds C. Symptom Control D. Lymphedema E. Review F. Summary Section 6: Psychosocial Considerations A. Depression B. Anxiety C. Interventions for Anxiety D. Delirium, Agitation, and Confusion E. Review F. Summary Section 7: Pain, Weakness, and Fatigue A. Treatment of Pain B. The Language of Pain C. Types of Pain D. World Health Organization (WHO) Pain Ladder E. Pharmacological Interventions for Pain F. Opioids (Narcotics) G. Corticosteroids H. Other Pain Relief Medications I. Non-Pharmacologic Treatments for Pain J. Weakness and Fatigue K. Interventions L. Review M. Summary Section 8: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations!
Jennifer W. Burks is a Curriculum Designer in Post-Acute Care for Relias. She has over 25 years of clinical and teaching experience, and her areas of expertise are critical care and home health. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Virginia in 1993 and her Master of Science in Nursing from The University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1996. Her professional practice in education is guided by a philosophy borrowed from Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing, "I do not pretend to teach her how, I ask her to teach herself, and for this purpose, I venture to give her some hints." Disclosure: Jennifer W. Burks, M.S.N., R.N. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.Expert Reviewer: Sandi Hebley, RN, ADN, BA, CHPN, LMSW
Sandi has been a nurse for 30 years and a social worker for 6 years. (The CHPN is Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse.) She has worked with issues of death and dying in a variety of settings: Neonatal ICU, oncology, hospice, and as a volunteer at the Suicide and Crisis Center of Dallas. She has worked in hospice for the past 14 years and is currently the Education/CQI manager at Castle Peak Hospice. In that capacity, she is a frequent speaker at educational meetings, both at Castle Peak and for community groups, and has obtained provider status for continuing education for both nursing and social work. It is her belief that she can affect many more families by teaching others how to do end-of-life care better, than just by doing the hands-on care herself. She has presented educational programs at conferences of the National Association of Home Care, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and the Texas/New Mexico Hospice Organization. Sandi lives in Dallas, is married, and has 2 two-legged children and 5 four-legged children (of the canine and feline variety). Disclosure: Sandi Hebley, RN, ADN, BA, CHPN, LMSW has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
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