People living with serious, life-limiting, chronic illness experience significant suffering. Fortunately there are new and developing treatments which may cure some and improve survival for many people living with serious illness. However, seriously ill people and their loved ones still experience many distressing physical symptoms as well as spiritual, social and psychological distress. There is much we can do to support people to live well with serious and life-limiting illness by understanding the causes of suffering, using effective communications, and incorporating careful assessments and interventions designed to address specific needs.
The Palliative Care: It’s not Just Hospice Specialization covers core concepts on the nature of suffering and demonstrates how to evaluate suffering and illustrates this in realistic patient scenarios. In subsequent weeks we learn and practice specific skills to improve communication with patients and families to help them express their experience, express and understand their core goals and values and our own empathic response. You will also learn about specific problems such as physical pain, fatigue and shortness of breath as well as psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. In addition, spiritual and social distress will be discussed with a focus on the practical evaluation and management of these challenges. All of these skills will enable you to support people to live active and full lives despite serious illness.
Course 1: What is Palliative Care? - Offered by University of Colorado System. Palliative care provides invaluable help for patients living with serious or life-limiting illness ... Enroll for free.
Course 2: Pain Management: Easing Pain in Palliative Care - Offered by University of Colorado System. In this course, you will be able to develop a systems view for assessing and managing pain in the ... Enroll for free.
Course 3: Easing Physical Symptoms: It's Not Just Hospice Anymore - Offered by University of Colorado System. Palliative care provides important support for people living with serious or life-limiting ... Enroll for free.
Course 4: Psychosocial and Spiritual Aspects of Palliative Care - Offered by University of Colorado System. In this course, you’ll learn how serious and life-threatening illnesses often affect emotional and ... Enroll for free.
Course 5: Palliative Care Capstone Projects - Offered by University of Colorado System. In the Capstone Course you have the opportunity to put what you have been learning about in the ... Enroll for free.
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.
Palliative care provides invaluable help for patients living with serious or life-limiting illness and their family caregivers. Palliative care should be part of healthcare services to improve quality of life, the ability to tolerate and benefit from treatment and improve survival. In this course, you will learn about the nature of suffering and how this concept can help you understand the experience of people living with serious illness. Next, you will learn skills to more effectively communicate with patients, families and other care providers to both understand their experiences and provide an extra layer of support. In the next module you will explore your own core values and beliefs and how they impact your work with others. Finally, you will learn how to do a whole person assessment to understand the needs of people with serious illness so you can develop a plan to support them.
You will be able to immediately use these insights, skills and tools in your work with people living with serious illness. In later courses, you will learn to ease pain and other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, shortness of breath and fatigue. In the final course, you will explore ways to ease psycho-social-spiritual distress. These courses will prepare you to bring basic palliative care to all in need.
In this course, you will be able to develop a systems view for assessing and managing pain in the palliative care setting. By the end of the course, you will be able to: 1) Describe the pain problem in the palliative care setting; 2) Assess a person’s pain, 3) Explain the benefits of integrative therapies and pharmacologic strategies to manage pain.
In the Capstone Course you have the opportunity to put what you have been learning about in the Palliative Care Specialization into practice. Our team has created five activities that directly relate to what you have been learning in the course. You will need to talk with someone you know, perhaps a friend or family member, about their experiences living with serious and life limiting illness. You may want to engage several people as you go through the 5 assignments as they each will have unique experiences.
The Five Assignments:
1) Use the Nature of Suffering Evaluation Form to guide your conversation with someone living with serious illness and report and reflect on how this illness is impacting different aspects of their lives.
2) Using SNAP/Self-Awareness skills explore the values of someone close to you and your own values as relate to health, illness and dying.
3) Using the WILDA tool complete a pain assessment with someone living with serious illness.
4) Using the ESAS tool complete a physical symptom assessment with someone living with serious illness.
5) Have a conversation with someone you know about Advance Care Planning. In the assignment you will focus on who would be the person that they would want to speak for them if they could not speak for themselves, often known as the MDPOA.
When you successfully complete all 5 of these assignments and the other course work you will earn the Coursera Specialization Certificate in Palliative Care. More importantly you will be prepared to help others live well with serious and life-limiting disease.
Palliative care provides important support for people living with serious or life-limiting illnesses and their family caregivers. In this course, you will learn to use symptom assessment tools to better understand which symptoms are present and which are most distressing. In subsequent weeks you will learn about some of the most common and distressing symptoms such as anorexia (loss of appetite), dyspnea (shortness of breath), fatigue (weakness), delirium(confusion) and constipation and nausea/vomiting. For each of these symptoms, you will learn about the underlying cause and potential ways to support people and their families to manage the symptoms with simple practical and non-medical approaches as well as a review of medications as appropriate. In addition, you will learn to help people with their emotional response to symptoms and loss of function.
You will be able to immediately use these insights, skills, and tools in your work with people living with serious illness. In other courses, you will learn communication skills, whole person assessment, how to ease physical pain and explore ways to ease psycho-social-spiritual distress.
Amos Bailey, Kelly Arora, Maurice Scott, Nancy Robertson and Regina Fink