Critical Care Nurses: Strengthening Communication and Symptom Management
Training in communication, pain and symptom management, and caregiver support enables critical care nurses to align care with patient and family priorities for care and relieve physical and psychological suffering. Use this toolkit for skills training and clinical tools to support the care of patients with serious illness, and their families.
What’s in the Toolkit
Top Resource Recommendations for Critical Care Nurses
Communicating about what matters most to patients and families (including goals of care, advance care planning, and understanding prognosis), assessing for pain, and partnering with palliative care when needed.
Defining palliative care, which patients need it, how it is delivered, and how palliative care differs from hospice.
Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.
How to initiate and conduct conversations about advance care planning.
Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.
Communication techniques for an effective family meeting.
Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.
How to discuss patient prognosis in a manner that is sensitive, clear, and supportive.
Ten important steps for improving communication between clinicians and patients/families. NOTE: This video does not provide CE credits.
Providing Whole-Patient Care
Supporting patients—and their families—as disease progresses.
Assessing and supporting caregivers of people with serious illness.
Managing Pain and Other Symptoms
Assessing and managing pain, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, constipation, anxiety, and depression.
Safe opioid prescribing in older adults, cognitively impaired patients, children, and the imminently dying, including patient-controlled analgesia.
Training curriculum and clinical tools for assessing and managing five common symptoms in patients living with serious illness.
ICU-Palliative Care Collaboration
Partnering to support the needs of patients with serious illness—and their families—in the ICU.
Integrating palliative care practices in the ICU through training and collaboration.