Palliative Care Essentials: 4 Day Series


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. This 4 day series covers the following eight topics:

Day One – Monday 6th August 9-4pm

“Let’s Talk about Dying” - We examine death as a normal part of life and 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 / End of Life Care - 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. We will discuss the observations we make and the clinical and psychosocial indicators that we use to identify deterioration, the 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.

Day Two – Monday 13th August 9-4pm

Pain Assessment and Management - 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.

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.

Day Three – Monday 20th August 9-4pm

Gastrointestinal Symptoms - 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.

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.

Day Four – Monday 27th August 9-4pm

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.

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.

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