Social Work Serious Illness Designation: Foundational Skills
This Learning Pathway provides comprehensive online education in social work practices to improve quality of life for patients living with a serious illness. Social workers can use Social Work Serious Illness Designation to demonstrate expertise in working with this patient population.
Assess the Needs and Concerns of Patients
Brief (4-question) screening tool for anxiety and depression.
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
Assessment tool and resource list to address social risk factors.
Self-reported caregiver assessment.
Defining palliative care, which patients need it, how it is delivered, and how palliative care differs from hospice.
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.
Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.
Phrases to use when talking to members/patients and their families about prognosis, advance planning, and quality of life.
Definitions, statistics, and strategies to address unconscious bias in health care.
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.
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.
Assessing and supporting caregivers of people with serious illness.
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