End of Life Care

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Purpose

The Institute is developing material for a larger audience that is similar to the ELNEC (End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium) curriculum.  Topics include, among others, End of Life Care; Pain Management; Symptom Management; Ethical Issues, Cultural Issues, Grief, Bereavement, Time of Death.

Course Offerings

N01 End of Life Nursing

30 CE hours, $63

Study modules N11-N20 together for the course N01  End of Life Nursing, 30 CE hours, $63. Ignore the 12-item tests at the end of each of the 10 modules and take only the one test of 60 items linked to the end of that course.

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3 Hour Courses

N11. End-of-Life Health Care: What it Takes

3 Credit Hours, $21

Everyone has different needs, but some emotions are common to most dying patients. These include fear of abandonment and fear of being a burden. They also have concerns about loss of dignity and loss of control. Learn about the nature end of life care, Advance Directive and hospice care, spirituality in care, and the place of end care.

N12. End-of-Life Care with Palliative Services

3 Credit Hours, $21

This short course examines the physiological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of personal care during the end-of-life time. The course analysis the factors that contribute or hinder good palliative care. One of the key words in palliative care is patient comfort.

N13. End-of-Life Ethics: Benefits and Burdens

3 Credit Hours, $21

At the end of life, health-care should change from a curative model to a palliative model. In the palliative model of medicine, birth, illness and death are accepted as realities of life and the unnecessary suffering of the patient is considered a failure.

N14. Spiritual Care: Help in Distress

3 Credit Hours, $21

Nursing acknowledges that the needs of the spirit are as important as physical needs for a person’s well being. Increased awareness and preparation, together with a united approach to this dimension of nursing practice, will be shown to enhance the quality of our care and strengthen our contribution to the ongoing development of our profession.

N15. Alzheimer’s Disease: Toward Prevention

3 Credit Hours, $21

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people. It involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Learn to describe the physiological changes resulting in plaque formation, describe the symptoms of the disease, and analyze interventions that may slow or prevent the disease.

N16. Aging Safely: Healthy Self-care

3 Credit Hours, $21

Learn how to avoid accidents, harassment, violence and abuse; the impact of aging and death on the living, the sick, and the bereaved; health-care services and self-care; and how various activities harm or protect the environment.

N17 Aging-well: Combating the Changes of Aging

3 Credit Hours, $21

Learn what changes (physical and social) can be expected with aging, both positive and negative. Develop, and help others develop, a lifestyle that combats the deterioration of aging. Learn to identify the most effective modes of teaching to senior adults and several adaptive and non-adaptive responses to the changes of aging.

N18. Nursing Ethics: Basic and Global Issues

3 Credit Hours, $21

This course consists of studies in the field of nursing ethics from various perspectives. Four of the six focus on global nursing ethics. Become equipped to make basic ethical decisions on basic and global ethical nursing issues.

N19. Advance Directive: Planning Issues

3 Credit Hours, $21

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. Evaluate how Advance Directives fit into end-of-life care, and design Advance Directive planning steps that meet end-of-life needs.

N20.  Hospice Support: Peace, Comfort

3 Credit Hours, $21

Hospice care focuses on controlling pain and other symptoms of illness so patients can remain as comfortable as possible near the end of life.

Introduction

At the end of life, each story is different. Death comes suddenly, or a person lingers, gradually failing. For some older people, the body weakens while the mind stays alert. Others remain physically strong, and cognitive losses take a huge toll. But for everyone, death is inevitable, and each loss is personally felt by those close to the one who has died.

End-of-life care is the term used to describe the support and medical care given during the time surrounding death. Such care does not happen just in the moments before breathing finally stops and a heart ceases to beat. An older person is often living, and dying, with one or more chronic illnesses and needs a lot of care for days, weeks, and sometimes even months.

End of Life: Helping With Comfort and Care hopes to make the unfamiliar territory of death slightly more comfortable for everyone involved. This publication is based on research, such as that supported by the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. This research base is augmented with suggestions from practitioners with expertise in helping individuals and families through this difficult time. Throughout the booklet, the terms comfort care, supportive care, and palliative care are used to describe individualized care that can provide a dying person the best quality of life until the end. Most of the stories in this booklet are fictitious, but they depict situations that reflect common experiences at the end of life.

When a doctor says something like, “I’m afraid the news is not good. There are no other treatments for us to try. I’m sorry,” it may close the door to the possibility of a cure, but it does not end the need for medical support. Nor does it end the involvement of family and friends. There are many places and a variety of ways to provide care for an older person who is dying. Such care often involves a team. If you are reading this, then you might be part of such a team.

Helping With Comfort and Care provides an overview of issues commonly facing people caring for someone nearing the end of life. It can help you to work with health care providers to complement their medical and caregiving efforts. The booklet does not replace the personal and specific advice of the doctor, but it can help you make sense of what is happening and give you a framework for making care decisions.

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