What is Palliative Care?

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  • Suffering
    • In this module, you will learn about suffering. Suffering is different for each person living with serious illness. Suffering has many causes, such as pain, and other physical symptoms. People also suffer because of emotional, spiritual and social concerns. If you have done a great job of easing pain, but you don’t offer help for other problems, the person will still suffer. You will learn how to help people feel like someone understands them and they are not alone. You will learn how to help people feel better, with less confusion and more hope. Finally, you will hear Ollie Green talk about his experiences of illness and suffering.
  • SNAP
    • In this lesson, you’ll learn about SNAP, an easy-to-remember set of skills to use for effective conversations about values and beliefs.
  • Communication in Palliative Care
    • In this module you will learn about the importance of good communication skills as we work with patients and families living with serious illness. People often believe that communication skills are something you are born with... She is just ‘a natural’ at talking with patients and families. They always love to talk with her. I am just not good at talking with others… We would never say “She is just 'a natural' at walking, reading, driving a car or any of other things that we need to be able to do to live and enjoy our lives." We watch and learn from others and then we work and practice until we can master a new skill. We all can learn ways to be better at communicating with patients and families. We can learn basic skills of active listening, being supportive, providing and reinforcing information to patients and families, and encouraging the patient/family caregiver to talk with us. In this module, we will review some specific techniques to use when we share bad news with a patient and family caregiver. This can be scary and uncomfortable for both the patient, the family caregiver and the healthcare providers. However, this too can become a natural part of our goal of patient-centered communication.
  • Effective Palliative Care Begins with Self-Awareness
    • This module has three lessons. In the first lesson, you will explore your personal values and beliefs around health, illness and dying. This self-awareness will improve your ability to have effective palliative care conversations with people who have serious illnesses. In the second lesson, you will reflect on your values and beliefs from childhood and consider what's important to you as an adult. We will focus on values and beliefs around health, illness and dying, all of which are important to consider in palliative care. Lastly, you will reflect on your potential to judge or pull away from people who don't share your values and beliefs.
  • Whole Person Assessment
    • In this module we will talk about the need to assess all dimensions of health. These include the physical, the spiritual, the psychological, the social and the economic areas that cause people living with serious illness distress.