Additional Skills for Advanced Practice Providers Who Focus Primarily on Supporting People with Serious Illness
This Learning Pathway contains a comprehensive set of training and tools to help advanced practice providers who focus primarily on supporting people with serious illness address the unique needs of patients and families. Clinical topics include assessing patient needs and concerns, understanding patients’ goals for care, addressing symptom burden, and helping patients to avoid crises and plan for the future.
Assess the Needs and Concerns of Patients
Defining palliative care, which patients need it, how it is delivered, and how palliative care differs from hospice.
Assesses for nine symptoms experienced by patients with serious illness and quantifies their severity. Alberta Health Services.
Brief (4-question) screening tool for anxiety and depression.
Assessment tool and resource list to address social risk factors.
Short conversation guide to elicit information about a patient's spiritual history and preferences.
Self-reported caregiver assessment.
Checklist of triggers for referral to a specialty palliative care team.
Strengthen the Clinician-Patient Relationship and Understand Care Goals
Identify the role of physicians and advanced practitioners in introducing patients to ACP.
Build physicians’ and advanced practitioners’ skills in guiding and documenting ACP conversations.
Requirements, best practices, documentation requirements, and time thresholds for Advance Care Planning (ACP) services. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2018.
Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.
Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.
How to discuss patient prognosis in a manner that is sensitive, clear, and supportive.
Defines unconscious bias and how it influences patient care, and provides ways to reduce the impact of unconscious bias on care delivery.
This resource lists step-wise tips to foster comfortable, productive dialogue for ‘the hospice conversation’.
Manage Pain and Symptoms
Patient and family factors that influence prescribing decisions for patients with serious illness.
Designing a safe and effective opioid trial for the patient with serious illness.
Safe and appropriate opioid prescribing for the opioid-naive patient with serious illness.
Ongoing evaluation of opioid benefits, risks, and side effects for the patient with serious illness.
Take this online course to learn how to manage dyspnea, including the physical causes of shortness of breath and the emotional impact on the patient.
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of serious illness, and can cause dangerous complications. Take this online course to learn practical skills to identify, manage, and reduce these symptoms.
Constipation occurs in at least 70% of patients living with a serious illness and often goes unrecognized. Take this online course to learn critical skills to identify and manage the impact of constipation.
Take this online course to learn evidence-based strategies to identify and treat anxiety in patients with a serious illness.
This online course teaches how to accurately identify and treat depression in patients living with a serious illness.
Recommended validated cognitive assessment tools.
Prevent Crises and Help Patients Plan Ahead
Considerations for clinicians, patients, and families upon diagnosis, including advance care planning, personal care needs, legal and financial planning, work and retirement planning, and prevention of common medical risks.
This course provides context and best practices for identifying older adults at risk for poor outcomes, including falls, delirium, and caregiving challenges.
Geriatric prognosis calculator based on a systematic review of prognostic indices, with links to disease-specific prognosis tool when applicable. Includes communication tools for talking with patients about prognosis, and can be used on a mobile phone or tablet. Created and maintained by the University of San Francisco.
National database of community services - enter a zip code and locate assistance with food, housing, health services, care needs, and other resources.
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