Innovative Education Comes to the World Wide Web: Join Us!

You saw the impact a lack of communication can have on patient outcomes. You cringed as you saw Dee neglected by the clinician. Now, see what happens when Vern gets the care he deserves.

This video case study of Vern is part of an on-line course created by Pro Hospice Solutions to empower clinicians with the insight to confidently care for the dying and the ability to maintain quality of life in the face of death.

After seeing Vern receive compassionate care, don’t you want to see more?

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Pedagogy, Inc. to present our first on-line course that will revitalize you!  

The Art of Transition: Using Preferred Practices to Create a Hospice and Palliative Plan of Care provides a continuing education experience that is research- based, stresses the best practices, and shows scenes from a simulated case study to see how techniques are applied in the field.
Click on the link below to sign up for the course. You will not be disappointed!!

http://www.pedagogy-inc.com/Home/Classes/General/Hospice-Preferred-Practices.aspx

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Compassionate Communication Fosters Quality of Life

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So, You Want to Know What a Lack of Communication Looks Like?

What Would You Do Differently?

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The Essential Question

What happens when we fail to emphasize LIFE at the moment when we are closest to death?

Of course, the answer to this question is horrifying because it means cutting another human being off from his or her last connection to comfort, closure, and dignity. The problems hindering quality of LIFE are basic and not surprising at all.  However, they have become a part of the pattern and practice for end of life care.  In 2006, the National Quality Forum released A National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative and Hospice Care Quality. A Consensus Report which identified four distinct problems in end of life care that hinder positive outcomes for the patient and family:

Lack of communication to patients concerning their care

Inability to make goals clear

Failure to answer questions

Excluding patients in treatment decisions

The Art of Transition Workshop provides End of Life Care professionals with the skills and techniques to solve these four problems related to effective care.  The solution relies on expertise, communication, and compassion to bring a quality of LIFE to the patient and family.  Focusing on this idea of LIFE has its own palliative power and gives End of Life Care professionals the ability to truly help people in need.   By focusing on LIFE, they are able to sooth the ravaged body and calm the anxious spirit of those whose most elemental moment of transition lies in their guiding hands.  It is a profound and humbling mission filled with sacrifice, joy, and sorrow, and its goal is to bring the dignity in death that all humans deserve.

Attend the Art of Transition Workshop, and let’s work together to change the outcome. We know what happens when we fail to emphasize LIFE at the moment when we are closest to death!

 

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The Art of Transition: Effective Education for an Empowered Professional!

The Art of Transition:  Using the Hospice and Palliative Plan of Care to Advance Quality of Life

Because of the complex needs of hospice and palliative care patients, End of Life Care professionals must be able to construct a Plan of Care that will accurately chart a patient’s progress towards specified healthcare outcomes.  Obviously, these outcomes are important for end of life care because they focus on enhancing the quality of life for the patient, his or her family, and support group.  This workshop has been designed to teach the Hospice and Palliative Care Registered Nurse and End of Life Care professional how to develop and implement a Plan of Care that is patient centered and based on an assessment of the patient’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. When these needs are considered, the patient receives practical and compassionate care developed from quality assessment and communication.  When End of Life Care professionals consider these needs, they are empowered with the insight to confidently care for the dying and revitalized by the mission of maintaining a quality of life in the face of death.  Ultimately, this course will enhance the knowledge base and practice of the Hospice and Palliative Care Registered Nurse and End of Life Care professional by using preferred practices to formulate and manage a Plan of Care that specifically addresses the patient’s quality of life and improves healthcare outcomes.  In addition, this workshop is grounded on the principles of mentoring, and it offers professionals the unique experience of being part of a live, interactive case study. This case study serves to highlight important concepts of care and enables professionals to practice their craft in a way that prepares them for real world applications.

Join us for an experience you won’t forget!

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Consumer Education by Gwenn Dalton, RN: Knowledge is Power!

Gwenn Dalton: Healthcare Warrior

Educating Consumers to Promote

Quality Healthcare Service

for all Americans

Hospice Consumers
Learn How to be an Advocate for Yourself and Loved One 

Take a Stand for the Healthcare You Deserve

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The Art of Transition: A Case Study in Compassion

What Would You Do To Help The Lester Family?

Scene:  Soft music plays as Sunee stands up and turns towards Dee.  The two stare at each other.  Dee moves toward Sunee, but Sunee walks around her, opens the door, and steps into the darkness.  Dee turns around and reaches out, but it’s too late; Sunee is gone.  Dee walks over to the open door and looks longingly into the black emptiness.  She slowly lowers her head and closes the door.  She turns toward the couch walks over and sits down.  Dee buries her head in her hands, and her shoulders begin to shake as if she is overcome with great grief.  The lights go down and the music fades out.  The audience can only hear Vern’s moans from the bed.  Gwenn walks out of the darkness, steps up to the Lester’s front door, and knocks three times. 

Dee:  (Dee does not look up when Gwenn knocks.  Gwenn knocks three more times.  On the second knock, Dee lifts her head.  Vern gives an extra loud moan.  He is still in obvious pain.  Dee gets up and walks towards the door, grabs the nob and opens it.  She avoids eye contact when she speaks to Gwenn.  She is self -conscious and does not want Gwenn to see that she’s been crying)…Hi Gwenn…Thank ya’ for comin’ out tonight…You just missed our daughter, Sunee.  That’s Sunee with two e’s (Dee says this last phrase in a flat disinterested tone as if she expects Gwenn to wonder about the spelling, but she is just too distracted and sad to give any energy to a phrase she usually loves to say.  Gwenn can sense that something is wrong, and Dee’s lowered eyes and defeated tone tells her that Dee is emotionally spent.)…Come on in… (Dee steps aside to let Gwenn in.)

Gwenn: (stepping through the door) Sunee, that’s a pretty name… (turning to Dee)…Hi Dee, how are you? (Gwenn can see Dee is sad, so she uses a tone that is bright and hopeful.)

Dee:  (crushed and defeated) Ohh…fair to midland I guess.

Gwenn: (While Gwenn is eager to begin talking about Vern, she recognizes Dee’s emotional pain.  Gwenn also knows that Dee should be in a balanced state of mind and body if Vern is going to get the care and attention he needs from Dee.  So, Gwenn spends some time with Dee as she makes her way to Vern’s bed.) Now Dee, I am sorry to hear that, but I sure can understand why.  You’ve done an amazing job taking care of Vern, but it is a lot for any one person to handle.  That’s why I am here.  Now, let me take a look at Vern and then we can talk some more.

Vern lets out a loud and painful wail.  Gwenn bends down to Vern and verbally comforts him.  Gwenn has her comprehensive assessment with her, and she is filling out information as she talks.  She tells Dee about the comprehensive assessment, what she’s filling out, and why.  Far from being just a part of routine paperwork, Gwenn knows that the comprehensive assessment is a valuable tool to help her map positive healthcare outcomes and open lines of communication with the patient and family.  During this part of the assessment, Gwenn focuses on Vern’s physical condition.  She is able to figure out why Vern is still in physical pain and adjusts his medication so that he is comfortable.  Once he is out of pain, Vern is a bit more communicative.  He is able to express some of his needs and his concern over the rift between Dee and Sunee.  Gwenn sees a picture of the Lester family near Vern’s bed and uses it as a way to talk about Sunee.  Vern looks toward Dee.  Her physical posture stiffens; she crosses her arms over her chest, and does not make eye contact with anyone when Gwenn brings up Sunee. 

Dee feels that Sunee loves her father but does not respect her as the mother.  She thinks that Sunee should have as much compassion for her and what she is going through, as Sunee has for her father.  Finally, Dee feels that Sunee blames her for Vern’s condition.  In truth, she is confused about Vern’s medication and his symptoms.  She is still unclear on his course of treatment and concerned that he is not really eating.  Dee wonders if his lack of appetite is related to his medication.  All of these unanswered questions and unresolved issues only heighten her anxiety and make her fear that she is going to do something that will hurt Vern.  This fear begins to whisper doubt in her ear every time she touches him, so she second guesses everything related to Vern’s care.

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Who are the Hospice Heroes?

Who are the Hospice Heroes?  They are the practitioners of the difficult and heroic art of transition, whose ultimate goal is to promote quality of life.  Hospice Heroes accept and embrace this gift of providing compassionate end of life care for their patients as a profound mission based on self- sacrifice and a willingness to live for something greater than themselves.  They know that care is more than tending to the physical end of life, so they are able to be and act in the present moment to help ease the gnawing fears that the patient, his or her family, and support group feel.  Above all, Hospice Heroes understand that death does not have to be painful, joyless, or lacking in dignity.

We have entrusted them with such a profound responsibility, yet we often neglect to provide them with the necessary tools to carry out their mission.  In 2006, The National Quality Forum. published A National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative and Hospice Care Quality. A Consensus Report.  This report details the problems hindering healthcare outcomes, the preferred practices to improve healthcare outcomes, and the rationale for developing these practices.  Among the domains, the report cites education for end of life professionals as a key to initiating positive healthcare outcomes for the patient and family.  Despite this comprehensive study in 2006, the state of continuing education for end of life professionals in 2011 is dismal.  We have certainly made continuing education obtainable through convenient on-line courses, but convenience is not always a mark of quality.  While there are quality programs on-line, they are hard pressed to offer end of life professionals the experience of being part of a dynamic process.  A process where creativity and knowledge become equal parts of a shared dialogue and where the professional is an active participant, not a passive observer locked in a two dimensional monologue.  Why have we disconnected our healthcare professionals from their patients and colleagues by denying them quality continuing education that would empower them, expand their knowledge base, and connect them with others who share their vision?

We must get back to education that lets the end of life professional experience knowledge in a way that actually prepares them for its real world application.  Imagine a continuing education experience that is researched base, stresses the best practices, and provides professionals with a live interactive case study to practice their craft.  Just think how connected they would feel to their colleagues during the event and to their patients when they apply the techniques in the field.  We have, in fact, created such an educational experience for end of life professionals.  Our mission is to revitalize education by reconnecting our end of life professionals to the vitality of their calling where they are chosen to care for the dying and living as they struggle to maintain a quality of life in the face of death.

Who are the Hospice Heroes?  We are, and we want you to join us!

William Storey

Director of Education

Pro Hospice Solutions, LLC

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Scenes From The Art of Transition Workshop: Shadows of Sorrow

What Would You Do To Help The Lester Family?

The music gets louder and the Lester household is bathed in red. During this simulation, the characters’ moves are slow, exaggerated, and deliberate.  Vern raises his hand and lifts his head up.  Dee looks up with a sour expression from her magazine and over to Vern.  She sets her magazine down and goes to Vern’s bedside.  She bends down as if listening to him.  Dee turns to the table  and picks up a cup of water.  She places the straw to Vern’s lips and holds it while he drinks.  She then takes out a tissue from her sleeve and wipes Vern’s chin.  Dee puts down the cup and tissue and turns her head to the phone as if hearing it ring.  She walks over, picks it up, puts it to her ear, and turns her back to the audience.  Dee nods her head as if to say yes, then vigorously shakes her head as if to say no.  She turns around, the audience can see her face strangely contorted by the imaginary stench around her, then puts the phone down forcefully.  Still shaking her head, she walks to the couch, sits down, and picks up her magazine.   After a few moments pause, Dee looks up from her magazine as if she hears the doorbell ring.   She slams her magazine down and flexes her angry eyebrows.  Vern’s hand moves up to clutch the air.  Dee gets up from the couch to open the door.  On the other side of the imaginary door stands their daughter,  Sunee.  Sunee is dressed in jeans and a brightly colored shirt.  She wears a broad-brimmed  hat that she thinks makes her look like a movie star and large white sunglasses that leave only her mouth exposed.  Dee flings open the imaginary door and blocks it with her considerable presence.  Sunee, however, pushes through Dee’s defense, as if she is not even standing there, takes off her sunglasses, and walks directly to Vern’s bedside.  Dee turns around and moves to the middle of the room.  Vern sits up and turns his face to the audience.  His mouth is contorted into a painful grimace.  He grabs Sunee’s shoulder then falls back onto the pillow.  Sunee shakes her head  grabs the water cup and puts the straw to Vern’s lips.  After a moments, Sunee puts the cup down and looks down lovingly at Vern and grabs his hand.  She has her back to the audience and shakes her head as if saying yes.  As Sunee leans in towards Vern, Dee turns to the imaginary door and closes it.

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A Case Study From The Art of Transition Workshop: Vern’s Wish

What Would You Do To Help?

Vern Lester is somewhat lethargic but oriented.  He does not deny his prognosis and seems to be coping with his approaching death.  Unlike his wife, Vern is a spiritual man; he does believe that there is a higher power and a heaven.  However, He does not connect his cancer and imminent death with divine retribution for something he has done.  Like his wife, he does believe things happen for a reason.  Except, he believes that people die because it is a natural part of life; like birth, it was meant to be.  Death was the way you experienced life.  He believed you could never really understand what it meant to live until you realized that it all could be taken away from you, just like that.  So, he had lived his life with that purpose, to truly know what it meant to live.  Now, on the verge of death, he was satisfied.  However, he is not coping well with the tension between Sunee and Dee.  He does not want to die knowing that the two people he cares about the most might not ever speak civilly to each other again.  That is why he is given to bouts of depression when Dee and Sunee argue or simply just stare at each other, silently, hatefully.  Since Sunee comes over often, this depression has only intensified over the last week.

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