End of Life Care : Professionals and End-of-Life Care
Posted by Chapster on Feb-13-2004 (2991 reads)

Many physicians and other medical professionals desire to provide the very best care to their patients at the end of life. With hectic schedules, however, it may feel as though they really don't know where to learn the essentials of End-of-Life Care. This brief article seeks to provide some professional level learning resources on the dying process and on the interventions that can make it more comfortable, and even, perhaps, more healing.

There are two places that you certainly want to check out. The first, a project sponsored by the AMA, sought to provide a curriculum that would help physicians direct the kinds of care their patients needed. Education for Physicians on End-of-life Care, or EPEC, is a curriculum taught nationally. While classes are often taught by local advocacy groups, the entire participants handbook is available for free on the internet. It should be noted that this material is directed at medical professionals, so while there is much rich material for laypersons, it may be somewhat inaccessible. To get the handbook with it's twelve modules and four plenary sections, GO HERE.

Another excellent resource, rather recently developed, is the End-of-Life Care Curriculum for Medical Teachers. The curriculum, addressing areas such as pain management, psychiatric symptoms, spirituality and decisionmaking, was prepared by the Stanford Faculty Development Center. It is made available in partnership with, ahem, the other end-of-life care internet resource, GrowthHouse.org (which, by the way, is the longest existing and the most comprehensive internet resource on this subject). In order to access this material, with Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, GO HERE.

There are numerous other books and internet resources available, though these are certainly the first and main place to go in order for medical staff to become familiar with care of the dying. In our opinion, these are essential for medical professionals.

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