Training All Clinicians in Essential Communication and Symptom Management Skills
Improving care quality for people living with a serious illness is everybody's job. It requires an organizational commitment to train clinicians from all specialties and disciplines in essential skills, including communication and shared decision-making; pain and symptom management; and caregiver support.
Use this toolkit to make the case for training, develop and implement a training initiative using CAPC’s clinical training courses, and reinforce the skills gained.
What’s in the Toolkit
The Case for Communication and Symptom Management Training
Training in communication and symptom management addresses the key gaps in care that lead to avoidable health care utilization and poor patient experiences.
This publication makes the case for training both palliative care and nonpalliative care specialists in communication and symptom management skills. Training in these skills results in measurably better quality of care, improved patient and family experience, and more time spent at home and out of hospitals.
Skill development can improve both patient and clinician satisfaction, decrease adverse opioid events, reduce risks for older adults, and create a common culture of person-centered care.
CAPC courses can meet state continuing education requirements for physicians and other licensed clinicians, including pain management, opioid prescribing, dementia/Alzheimer's Disease, and end-of-life care.
Clinical Training Recommendations for All Clinicians Caring for Patients with Serious Illness
Use CAPC's clinical training recommendations as a skills-building roadmap to improve person-centered care delivery for people with serious illness.
CAPC's clinical training recommendations, by discipline, for improving outcomes and providing person-centered care for people with serious illness.
CAPC's clinical training recommendations, by discipline, for improving outcomes and providing person-centered care for pediatric patients with serious illness.
Implementing a Training Program
Transforming the way we care for patients and families living with serious illness takes organizational commitment and planning. Develop a strategy to train all clinicians in critical skills using CAPC's continuing education curriculum.
Online training curriculum for all specialties and disciplines to strengthen their care of patients living with serious illness. Free continuing education credits for all, and physicians receive ABIM MOC credits for select courses.
Course catalog for CAPC's clinical training curriculum. All courses provide continuing education credits for physicians, nurses, social workers, and care managers from all specialties and are free for CAPC members.
A convenient and effective way for organizations to achieve their skill-building goals.
CAPC Designation provides standard competencies in Pain Management, Symptom Management, Communication Skills, Dementia Care, Social Work for Serious Illness, and Registered Nursing Practices for Serious Illness
How to engage staff in a clinical training initiative using CAPC's online courses.
Self-study tutorial on teaching methods in palliative care.
Customizable proposal to leadership to conduct a clinical training pilot using CAPC courses.
Resources for Reinforcing Skills
Completing online courses substantially expands knowledge and skills, while these resources can help learners to bridge that knowledge to action.
Clinicians need opportunities to practice the skills they develop using online courses. These are tips for fitting practice into daily operations.
One-page guides with actionable tips for conversations with patients with serious illness. Free to download, print and share with others.
Phrases to use when talking to members/patients and their families about prognosis, advance care planning, and quality of life.
This resource provides practical samples of empathic responses to use in conversations with patients and families, as well as template responses to challenging questions. Developed by VitalTalk.
In this video, Kacey Boyle, RN, MSPC, leads us through an example of a goals of care conversation between a clinician and a patient.
This conversation script provides skills and techniques for conducting goals of care conversations with patients, regardless of the existing clinician-patient relationship.
In this video, Jonathan Fisher, MD, leads us through a mock conversation between a patient whose illness has progressed, and a clinician who explains the benefits of hospice care.
This communication script provides techniques for clinicians to foster meaningful conversations about hospice.
When to use - and when to avoid - 6 classes of analgesics including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, opioids, antiepileptics, antidepressants, and corticosteroids.
Opioid pocket reference for providers including safe starting doses, equianalgesic chart, and standard dosing strengths.
A care manager specific list of risk reduction tips for the care of older adults.
Case Studies and Additional Resources
Organizations working to improve the skills of their workforce can learn from the successes of others.
Explore how leaders around the country are educating clinicians across their organizations in essential communication and symptom management skills.
Trinity Health's journey to expand access to specialty palliative care across settings, and train all clinicians to identify and address sources of suffering for patients with serious illness.
A case study from Bluegrass Care Navigators.
How the palliative care team at Butler Memorial Hospital engaged hospital leadership and all clinical staff at Butler to take CAPC clinical training courses.
This competition facilitated the spread of expert communication and symptom management skills across specialties and disciplines. See how the winning organizations used CAPC's clinical training courses to meet the challenge.
Brynn Bowman, MPA
Chief Executive Officer, Center to Advance Palliative Care
Madeline Jacobs, MPA
Senior Member Relationship Manager
Andrew E. Esch, MD, MBA
Senior Education Advisor
Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM
Founder, Director Emerita and Strategic Medical Advisor, Center to Advance Palliative Care