This learning pathway contains recommended clinical training for new providers on the specialty palliative care team.

An In-Depth Look At Palliative Care And Its Services

Defining palliative care, which patients need it, how it is delivered, and how palliative care differs from hospice.

Pain Management

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

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

Course 2: Matching the Drug Class to the Pain

Selecting a safe and appropriate analgesic for patients with serious illness based on the pain assessment.

Course 3: Patient Factors that Influence Prescribing Decisions

Patient and family factors that influence prescribing decisions for patients with serious illness.

Course 4: Assessing Risk for Opioid Substance Use Disorder

Integrating routine risk assessment for substance use disorder when considering or using opioid therapy.

Course 5: Opioid Trials: Determining Design, Efficacy, and Safety

Designing a safe and effective opioid trial for the patient with serious illness.

Course 6: Prescribing An Opioid

Safe and appropriate opioid prescribing for the opioid-naive patient with serious illness.

Course 7: Prescribing Short-Acting Opioids: Four Case Studies

Four indications for using short-acting opioids.

Course 8: Monitoring for Opioid Efficacy, Side Effects, and Substance Use Disorder

Ongoing evaluation of opioid benefits, risks, and side effects for the patient with serious illness.

Course 9: Converting from Short-Acting to Long-Acting Opioids

Guidance on safe conversion to long-acting opioids for patients with serious illness.

Course 10: Prescribing Practice and Opioid Conversions

Prescribing practice for long half-life opioids, converting from one opioid to another, and accounting for incomplete cross-tolerance.

Course 11: Advanced Conversions and Opioid Side Effects

Changing the route of opioid delivery, rotating opioids, advanced opioid conversions, and tapering opioids.

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.

Course 13: Managing Pain in Patients At Risk for Substance Use Disorder

Pain management for patients with serious illness and high risk for substance use disorder, including risk assessment, monitoring, and when to refer for safe pain management.

Course 14: Pain Management: Putting it All Together

Safe opioid prescribing for patients with serious illness, using the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics.

Symptom Management

Nausea and Vomiting

Identifying and managing nausea and vomiting for patients living with serious illness and their caregivers.

Dyspnea

Reducing physical and emotional suffering from dyspnea for patients with serious illness.

Constipation

Assessing and managing constipation in people with serious illness.

Anxiety

Prevalence, screening recommendations, and evidence-based strategies to treat anxiety in patients with serious illness.

Depression

Prevalence, screening recommendations, and evidence-based strategies to treat depression in patients with serious illness.

Communication Skills

Delivering Serious News

Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.

Discussing Prognosis

How to discuss patient prognosis in a manner that is sensitive, clear, and supportive.

Clarifying Goals of Care

Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.

Conducting a Family Meeting

Communication techniques for an effective family meeting.

Advance Care Planning Conversations

How to initiate and conduct conversations about advance care planning.

Best Practices in Dementia Care and Caregiver Support

Discussing Your Patient’s Dementia Diagnosis

Disclosing a dementia diagnosis to patients and caregivers in a way that is sensitive, clear, and supportive.

Communicating About What to Expect as Dementia Progresses

Helping patients and caregivers understand challenges they may face as dementia worsens.

Planning for the Future with People Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers

Enabling patients and caregivers to plan ahead for the financial, legal, and other impacts of dementia.

Supporting the Caregivers of People Living with Dementia

Assessing for caregiver burden and connecting caregivers to needed support systems.

Understanding and Responding to Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

Strategies for understanding and addressing the sources of behavioral symptoms for people living with dementia.

Mood and Sleep Disturbances in People Living with Dementia

Addressing common sources of suffering for people living with dementia.

Critical Decisions in Advanced Dementia

Addressing common sources of suffering for people living with advanced dementia.

Relief of Suffering Across the Disease Trajectory

Dementia: Relieving Suffering for Patients and Families

Identifying and addressing the sources of suffering for patients and families living with dementia.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Assessing and addressing sources of suffering for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and their caregivers.

Heart Failure

Interventions to reduce suffering along the disease trajectory for people living with congestive heart failure (CHF), and their families.

Managing Gaps in Care: Discipline-Specific Approaches

Communicating with Treating Clinicians: How Medical Directors Can Support Best Care for the Seriously Ill

Guidance for collaborating with treating providers to ensure that members who would benefit receive palliative care.

Care Management for Seriously Ill Patients: Addressing Gaps in Care

Communication and assessment techniques for case managers to elicit goals of care and address suffering for people with serious illness.

A Palliative Approach to Care for Direct Care Workers

The role of the direct care worker in observing and reporting suffering in patients with serious illness.

Preventing Crises Through Whole-Patient Care

Supporting the Family Caregiver: The Burden of Serious Illness

Assessing and supporting caregivers of people with serious illness.

Care Coordination

Guidance for all clinicians on improving communication and ensuring smooth transitions of care for patients living with serious illness.

Building Physician Skills in Basic Advance Care Planning

Basic Advance Care Planning: Introduce and Motivate

Identify the role of physicians and advanced practitioners in introducing patients to ACP.

Basic Advance Care Planning: Guide and Document

Build physicians’ and advanced practitioners’ skills in guiding and documenting ACP conversations.

Beyond the Conversation: Integrating Basic Advance Care Planning into Practice

Ways for physicians and advanced practitioners to integrate and bill for ACP in their practice.

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