Foundational Skills for All Chaplains
This Learning Pathway contains a comprehensive set of training and tools to help board-certified chaplains address the unique needs of patients and families living with serious illness. Education topics include assessing patient needs and concerns, understanding patients’ goals for care, addressing the suffering caused by 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.
Assessment for suffering, distress, disconnection, or spiritual pain. Supportive Care Coalition.
Self-reported caregiver assessment.
Strengthen the Clinician-Patient Relationship and Understand Care Goals
Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.
Phrases to use when talking to members/patients and their families about prognosis, advance planning, and quality of life.
How to initiate and conduct conversations about advance care planning.
Structured VitalTalk conversation map for late goals of care conversations.
Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.
Talk given by Denise Hess, MDiv, BCC-PCHAC (Executive director of the Supportive Care Coalition) for the Association for Professional Chaplains.
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
Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.
Prevent Crises and Plan Ahead
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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