Palliative Care Essentials: 3 hours


Developed by Hospice Waikato and designed for those who work in age related residential care. However, this is suitable for others with a general interest in palliative Care.

Please note that this series will begin in 2020.

Topics include:

“Let’s Talk about Death”
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.

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

Palliative Care Pathway: The Process of Dying
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 early recognition of dying and the processes that should be put in place to prepare residents and families for the end of life phase. Clinical concerns that arise throughout this process will be identified and discussed.

Psychosocial and Spiritual Care in a Palliative Approach
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.

Pain Assessment and Management
This topic will assist you to understand the types and causes of pain, and discuss how 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.

Clinical Challenges
Participants will be invited to bring to this discussion the symptoms and challenges they face when caring for the elderly through the process of dying. The topic will provide solutions for symptoms commonly experienced including palliative care emergencies.

Grief and Loss: Managing Grief in the Workplace
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.

Professional Caregiver Stress: Strategies for Positive Self-care
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.

Working with Families
Fundamental to palliative care is the care of the patient and their family/whanau as a unit. At this time family members can be overwhelmed by anticipatory grief and the changing roles within the family. Decision making can also be stressful. As health professionals we can be in the position to offer emotional and spiritual care, provide education and support in decision making, while managing family dynamics. In this session participants will consider ways in which to deal with complex emotions and practice facilitating a family meeting.

Venue: Hospice Waikato, 334 Cobham Drive, Hillcrest, Hamilton
Cost: $5 (non-refundable)

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