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

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.

Introduction to Palliative Care for Health Professionals

An introduction to palliative care, how it is delivered, its impact on quality of life, and the growing population of patients who need it.

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.

Care Planning

Learn techniques to help patients and their caregivers plan for the future, both during the early stages of a serious illness and as a disease progresses.

Clarifying Patient Goals of Care

Learn best practices for building trust, eliciting patient values, and having patient-centered conversations about goals of care.

Leading a Patient and Caregiver Meeting

Learn to effectively lead meetings that help patients and caregivers become aligned around the patient’s goals.

Discussing Serious News

Learn best practices for having patient-centered conversations about a serious illness diagnosis.

Discussing Prognosis With Patients and Caregivers

Learn how to effectively discuss prognosis with patients and their caregivers.

The Human Connection of Palliative Care: 10 Steps for What to Say and Do

Ten important steps for improving communication between clinicians and patients/families. NOTE: This video does not provide CE credits.

Supporting patients—and their families—as disease progresses.

Supporting the Family Caregiver: The Burden of Serious Illness

Assessing and supporting caregivers of people with serious illness.

Assessing and managing pain, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, constipation, anxiety, and depression.

Course 12: Special Populations And Patient-Controlled Analgesia

Safe opioid prescribing in older adults, cognitively impaired patients, children, and the imminently dying, including patient-controlled analgesia.

Symptom Management

Training curriculum and clinical tools for assessing and managing five common symptoms in patients living with serious illness.

Partnering to support the needs of patients with serious illness—and their families—in the ICU.

Integrating Palliative Care Practices in the ICU

Integrating palliative care practices in the ICU through training and collaboration.

Training and clinical tools for oncology clinicians from all disciplines. Includes 23 resources.
Training and clinical tools for hospitalists to improve quality of life for patients living with serious illness and complex need. Includes 31 resources.
Tools to design and implement a training initiative for care teams from all specialties, to improve quality of life for patients and families living with serious illness. Includes 27 resources.

See all 47 Toolkits

Get the latest updates in your inbox!