106: Caring for the Dying Patient

© 2011, 1997

This three-part series addresses the care needs of dying patients.  Using interviews with healthcare professionals and effective vignettes, the series addresses the various issues facing terminally ill patients and their families.  Included are effective pain management strategies; emotional support; family assessment and involvement; common symptoms of impending death; the role of the hospice team; giving bad news; addressing spiritual needs; and sensitivity to cultural feelings and rituals regarding death.  The information and scenarios address the special needs of all age groups including children and the elderly, as well as the impact on family dynamics and the siblings of terminally ill children, as well as the potential for exhaustion for family caregivers.  The various aspects of grief are also discussed.   Self-care for both professional and family caregivers is also addressed.

Schools:  Mid-level:  end of life care

Healthcare Facilities:  Staff education/orientation all nursing units; social services; hospice training

CE This series is eligible for Continuing Education credits. Click this link for more inforamtion.

Individual program learning objectives



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106.1 Physical Care  (26 min.)

1. Discuss appropriate pain management strategies for the terminally ill.
2. Describe common symptoms of disease progression and impending death.
3. Perform a family assessment.
4. Prepare a treatment plan for a terminally ill patient.


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106.2 Team Approach to Comprehensive Care (24 min.)

1. Delineate the members of a hospice team and their roles.
2. Compare and contrast ways in which people respond to a terminal diagnosis.
3. Describe appropriate ways to respond to the patient’s expressions of emotion.
4. Discuss differences between the dying adult and the dying child.
5. Understand the role of cultural and spiritual beliefs at the end of life.

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106.3 Bereavement Issues (25 min.)

1. Describe the stages of grief, mourning, and bereavement.
2. Discuss how actions on the part of healthcare workers can provide help or negatively impact terminally ill patients and their families.
3. List five things that contribute to an individual’s grief when facing a terminal diagnosis.

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