In this course, you’ll learn how serious and life-threatening illnesses often affect emotional and spiritual well-being. Illnesses can increase stress as patients and families learn to live with a “new normal” that may often focus on illness. You’ll learn how to tell when normal sadness (or grief) becomes something more serious and needs to be addressed. People with serious illnesses also have social concerns as their family, friends and community support system becomes stretched, and sometimes fails. We’ll talk about resources and skills you can use to help support patients and families. You’ll learn about advance care planning, that includes shared decision-making, setting goals of care, and writing down plans for care.
What you will learn
Introduction to Common Psycho-Social-Spiritual Concerns
In this course, you’ll learn how serious and life-threatening illnesses can affect emotional and spiritual well-being and increase stress on the patient’s support network. We’ll talk about resources and skills you can use to help support patients and families. You’ll also learn about advance care planning, which includes shared decision-making, setting goals of care, and writing down plans for care.
How Sad Is Too Sad?
In this module, you will learn how to determine if someone is experiencing normal grief about losses with serious illness. You will also learn when feeling sad becomes a more serious problem, like depression, demoralization, or the desire to die. You’ll also learn how caregivers also grieve.
Anxiety and Coping
Providing support and care in the last days of life is important. We only have one chance to provide excellent care for this person. Patients and families often feel afraid and overwhelmed. You can help ease suffering when everyday stress becomes unmanageable anxiety. You can also help patients and families understand the dying process; express their preferences for care; manage common symptoms, and provides practical, emotional, spiritual and social support. You can help make serious illness and the last days of life positive and meaningful experiences.
Easing Spiritual Distress
In this lesson, we’ll talk about the difference between spirituality and religion. Then you’ll learn skills for respectful spiritual conversations with patients and family members.