Strengthen Your Core. Palliative Care Core Competencies Training Modules

Strengthen your core! 

For anyone working with people who are affected by serious illness – nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, social workers, counsellors or health care assistants – there are fundamental core competencies that should be part of their practice.

Strengthen Your Core! is a program by the BC Centre for Palliative Care about the Palliative Core Competencies. It includes eight modules, one for each of the core competency domains. (Go to page 11 of the Competency Framework for a description of the competencies and the eight domains of practice.) Each module takes about 15 minutes to complete, and you receive a certificate for each module, and for completing all eight.

Broad-based training

These modules are intended for health care providers and students who are not familiar with palliative care and a palliative approach but provide direct care for people with life-limiting illness in any health care setting. They were created in consultation with B.C. health care assistants, nurses, physicians, social workers and counsellors working in non-palliative specialty settings.

(Enroll as a guest or with your employee login to PHSA Learning Hub)

Domain 1 makes sure you’ve got a solid palliative care foundation by covering the key concepts of palliative care and a palliative approach. This module uses a timeline that illustrates how a palliative approach is provided over the course of an illness, and what that care in looks like various settings.

In this module you will explore foundational concepts relating to culture and how locations of privilege and discrimination impact our experiences of giving and receiving care.

Domain 3 helps to solidify skills in communication that is person-centred.  This module explores foundational concepts relating to communication, including active listening and how to enter into conversations with people about what is important to them and their families.

A keystone to the palliative approach to care, Domain 4 delves into competencies about comfort and quality of life. This module provides an introduction to promoting comfort and enhancing quality of life for people with life-limiting illness.

In this module, you will reflect on the importance of ensuring your care aligns with the person’s s goals of care. You will also be introduced to three key aspects of what a care plan for someone with a life-limiting illness should include.

Loss, grief and bereavement are often thought of as a “linear” experience. In this module we want to correct this assumption and help you identify that people experience grief differently. Exploring ways to support grief and loss will help you provide considerate and compassionate care.

Over the course of this module, you will be introduced to common ethical issues in end-of-life care. You will have the opportunity to practice ethical decision making by participating in two scenarios.

A vital competency for any health care provider, Domain 8 addresses the crucial need for self-care. Identifying our own self-care strategies and knowing how to support others around us in the workplace results in better patient outcomes, increased patient and family satisfaction, improves health care worker well-being, and prevents burnout.

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