The difficulty of dealing with terminal illness and dying is skillfully examined in the End of Life Care Issues course created by Cyndie Koopsen RN MBA Carolyn Young MPH Dr. Daniel Farb and Bruce Gordon. This course is aimed toward healthcare providers who are charged with caring for dying patients and their families. The authors take a holistic approach to end of life care encouraging providers to attend to a patient’s physical emotional psychological and spiritual well-being.
The CD contains over 1200 slides in six sections that take the user through various issues that a healthcare provider of dying patients must address. The first section introduces the user to the tools available in the course for accessing the material (including alternative text and sound access). The authors then outline the objectives of the course which include defining palliative care describing symptom management and the team approach to caring for dying patients. Ethical issues are covered in the second section educating providers about the fundamental rights of dying patients to be treated with compassion and in accordance with patient instructions regarding treatment.
Parts three and four discuss pain assessment/management and physiological change respectively. The authors discuss the goals of pain assessment and management in terms of understanding the level of pain a patient is experiencing as well as encouraging patient involvement in treatment planning and improving quality of life. In the physiologic change section several examples of problems with major organs that are common in dying people are outlined.
Death dying and grief are covered in part five. The goal of this section is to “provide healthcare professionals with an understanding of the spiritual psychological social and physical aspects of the dying experience.” The material looks at the process of dying and the involvement of the patient and family in decision-making including the choice to die at home. In the sixth section of the course the authors provide a more in-depth exploration of hospice and palliative care incorporating lessons from the previous sections.
The CD includes an option for the user to access and search the text only. In addition to the quiz questions that occur throughout each course the CD offers access to tests on all of the material covered and allows the user to print certificates upon successful completion of the exams. This course is available in the following versions: CD only book only book and CD and CD only of the individual sections.
The End of Life Care Issues course is an informative interactive tool for healthcare professionals that will broaden perspectives and practices in the treatment of dying patients. The authors have produced another valuable piece that helps professionals enhance skills and stay abreast of the most current research and trends.