New Palliative Care Resources for the New Year!

New Palliative Care Resources for the New Year!

New Palliative Care Resources for the New Year!
We are very excited to announce new Life and Death Matters resources for students! Let’s get started because there is so much to report.

New Podcasts to Help Build Communication Skills

We have spent the past year finding and addressing ‘pain points’ – issues that Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and nurses reported when integrating a palliative approach.

One area where caregivers often struggle is building their capacity and comfort when communicating about difficult topics. We agree – it can be difficult to know what to say or how to respond appropriately in a situation.  We are so lucky to have Elizabeth Causton on our team, as she jumped in and developed a new tool specifically to help PSWs respond in these difficult communication situations.

Elizabeth developed “VERS” – an acronym of Validate, Explore, Respond, and Share. A unique tool that provides an easy-to-follow framework for communicating with the person and family. Elizabeth’s three fresh new podcasts explain VERS and identify how PSWs can use VERS to build their capacity and comfort when talking with a person or their family.

Check out these new podcasts under the Providing Psychosocial Care dropdown menu

  • VERS – Validating and Exploring: Using VERS When Providing Psychosocial Care – Validating and exploring are the first steps in using VERS in palliative care. Your actions in these steps will enable you to support a dying person and gather valuable information for the team. Listen to this podcast for tips on how to follow best practices when validating and exploring a dying person’s questions or concerns.
  • VERS – Importance of Applying VERS When Communicating – Gathering information is a key part of the PSW’s work. This podcast demonstrates how to use the acronym “VERS” to provide psychosocial support for a dying person. Listen to this podcast to learn how to apply VERS to validate, explore, respond and share information.
  • VERS – Case Scenarios Using VERS When Communicating About Psychosocial Concerns – The case scenarios in this podcast demonstrate practical and real-life examples of how to apply VERS when supporting a dying person and their family. Use these examples as a guide for communicating when providing psychosocial care. 

Another difficult topic of conversation that has also become important when integrating a palliative approach is advanced care planning (ACP). PSWs may struggle to know their role in ACP and understand how best to support the person and family. Some PSWs and nurses feel quite uncomfortable hearing or talking about ACP. The following new podcast is all about helping PSWs to understand their role in gathering and sharing information about ACP and includes examples and sentence stems of what PSWs can say in these difficult conversations.

  • (The) PSW’s Role and Ways to Support Advance Care Planning –PSWs are at the front line and ideally positioned to support the person and family to understand advance care planning (ACP). Learn how to comfortably respond in ACP conversations and understand why these conversations are key to supporting a person’s quality of life. Adapt the examples in this podcast to use in conversations about ACP.

New Videos: Using Standardized Tools for Gathering and Sharing Information

We love that PSWs are often referred to as “the eyes and ears of the health care team” because it is so true. When integrating a palliative approach, you (PSWs) are uniquely valuable when you gather and share information about a person’s status and concerns with the care team.

Although using standardized tools for gathering information and communicating with the team is the best way to support the person, many PSWs are not yet familiar with these tools, and may feel overwhelmed trying to understand them!

Do not worry – our team member Michele O’Rourke explains each of the tools and how to use them in four new videos. With Michele’s fabulous way with words and encouraging explanations, these new videos are easy to digest.

Check out these four new video offerings!

  • Understanding the Palliative Performance Scale (PPSv2) – This video describes how to use the Palliative Performance Scale (PPSv2) as a guide to observing changes in a person’s functioning. Using images of one person’s decline, Michelle relates the image to the PPS level and the 5 levels of functioning. Watching this excellent learning resource will benefit anyone learning to integrate a palliative approach.  
  • Understanding the Symptom Framework for PSWs – This quick video is a step-by-step explanation of the Symptom Assessment Framework for PSWs for gathering information from a person about a specific symptom. With an easy-to-follow format, you will be prepared to gather the person’s perspective on all aspects of their symptom and their care wishes about this symptom. 
  • Using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) – This video provides clear instructions on the purpose of the ESAS and how it is to be used when assessing (nurses) or gathering information (PSWs, HCAs, CCAs) about the symptoms a person may be experiencing. Step by step, Michelle O’Rourke takes viewers through the ESAS and demonstrates how to use it and when to use it. 
  • Communicating With the Team Using the SBAR – If you feel that your team is not hearing what you say, then you may need to start using the SBAR. The SBAR is a tool that guides users to communicate important, relevant information to their team in an organized and timely way. View this video to learn how to record and communicate information and provide effective reports to the nurse and team.

We hope these new resources are welcome additions to your podcast and video favourites. Leave us your feedback on these new resources in the comments!

2 Responses

  1. Hi, I look forward to seeing the information, thank you for sharing.
    I am a Director of Care at a local retirement home which does not have a palliative program and is sadly in need of one. I am a masters prepared nurse and did my thesis on hospice/palliative care. I also have CNA specializations in Oncology and Hospice/Palliative Care. I would love my staff to see this presentation. Do you have a paper copy of them I could see to prepare for questions they may have after seeing the videos? Thanking you in advance, Kim

    1. Hello Kim – I am wondering which presentation you are referring to. The article highlights new additions to the podcast and video libraries but doesn’t mention a presentation. Can you provide more information so that I can assist you?

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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