Palliative Care Essentials: 4 Day Series


Developed by Hospice Waikato and designed for anyone who works as a healthcare professional or maybe you have a general interest in palliative care. This 4 day series covers the following nine topics:

“Let’s Talk about Dying” - 3 hours
This session examines death as a normal part of life. Participants will consider different cultural norms that influence having conversations related to death and dying. Additionally, participants will reflect on their own cultural beliefs, values and life experiences and consider how these factors influence their professional practice.

Recognising Dying - 3 hours
Recognising the dying process assists the team to introduce the palliative approach early and prepares patients, their families and the team to expertly manage the months and days leading to a patient’s death. In this session we will discuss the observations we make and the clinical and psychosocial indicators that we use to identify deterioration in our residents.

Professional Caregiver Stress: Strategies for Positive Self-care - 3 hours
This topic provides an overview of stress and its impact on healthcare professionals and the work environment. Risk factors of stress will be identified, and participants will formulate a self-care plan to manage and minimise stress responses in the work place.

Psychosocial and Spiritual Care in a Palliative Approach - 3 hours
While it is widely understood that a palliative approach involves not only the physical care at the end of life, it also includes psychosocial and spiritual care. How this type of care is articulated and practiced is not clear. This session will provide an opportunity for health care professionals to identify and practice how they may meet these needs for those they provide care for.

Empathic Communication Skills - 3 hours
Open, honest and sensitive communication is integral to palliative care. This session will expand participants’ competency in active listening and emphatic responses to enable them to engage in delicate and challenging conversations with people they care for and their families.

Grief and Loss: Managing Grief in the Workplace - 3 hours
In this session participants will expand their understanding of grief and loss concepts and theory. Participants will also explore grief and loss as it relates to their role as health care professionals working in a palliative care setting and identify coping strategies to support themselves and others.

Pain Assessment and Management - 3 hours
This topic will assist you to understand the types and causes of pain and the ability to undertake a comprehensive assessment. Non pharmacological and pharmacological management of pain will be discussed including the use, and titration, of opioid medication and adjuvant therapies.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms - 3 hours
Gastrointestinal symptoms may be particularly distressing for those nearing the end of life. In this topic we will discuss dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and the challenges that arise when patients are no longer able to safely eat and drink.

End of Life Care - 3 hours
This topic offers participants an opportunity to discuss the process of dying and share the challenges and rewards of caring for those who are at the end of their lives. Participants will discuss clinical concerns such as maintaining skin integrity, prevention of pressure sores and bowel and bladder management, terminal restlessness, and how to guide families as they support their loved ones who are dying.

The dates of these sessions are as follows:
Monday 6th August
Monday 13th August
Monday 20th August
Monday 27th August

Venue: Hospice Waikato, 334 Cobham Drive, Hillcrest, Hamilton
Cost: $80

Attendance certificates will be issued upon completion of the 4 days.

To make a booking please email

If you have any questions regarding the Hospice Waikato Palliative Care programme, please contact Andrea Jones on 07 859 1260 or email