Registered Nursing Serious Illness Designation: Foundational Skills
This learning pathway provides comprehensive online education in nursing practices to improve quality of life for patients living with serious illness. Nurses can use Serious Illness Designation to demonstrate expertise in working with this patient population.
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.
Checklist of triggers for referral to a specialty palliative care team.
Strengthen the Clinician-Patient Relationship and Understand Care Goals
How to initiate and conduct conversations about advance care planning.
Online CE course from Respecting Choices that assists Registered Nurses in learning the many ways to help patients with advance care planning (ACP). Note: this course requires purchase either by an individual nurse or by an employer.
Conversation framework and key phrases to share empathy and deepen your relationship with your patient. Vital Talk, 2019.
Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.
Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.
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.
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.
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Assessment questions to help nurses understand the impact of serious illness on a patient's relationships, social and spiritual supports, financial stability, and trust in the health care system. Fast Facts, April 2020
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