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Online textbook – Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers


The ONLINE version of the PSW text!

A truly unique textbook – written specifically for Personal Support Workers (who also work under the job title of healthcare assistants, nurse’s aides, community support workers and so on) learning to integrate a palliative approach and support people declining and dying.

PSWs – Vital members of the health care team

With this textbook students can learn about the vital role of a PSW on the health care team.

The easy-to-read style smooths the path for students to learn provides practical palliative care strategies through stories of care-giving, competency touchstones and real-life scenarios. By all counts, it is an enjoyable read for learners!

Students using the text, Integrating a Palliative Approach report increased confidence and competence in providing compassionate, culturally-safe palliative care for any person and their family.

Because everyone provides care for a dying person and their family

The text is a timeless resource for PSWs, HCAs, CCAs and all healthcare workers providing direct care. Because everyone on the health care team provides care for a dying person and their family, all PSWs ( i.e., direct care providers) need to build their knowledge and skills of integrating a palliative approach and providing palliative care. And this is the textbook to get them there!  Students can learn:

  •  The PSW’s vital role and their responsibilities in providing palliative care and a palliative approach
  •  Easy steps to integrating a palliative approach
  •  Best practices for communicating and providing compassionate palliative care
  •  Techniques for gathering information
  • Ways to support through losses and grief

Key topics in palliative care included in the text:

  • Supporting physical comfort
  • Common symptoms of declining and dying, and last days and hours
  • Responding to advance care planning and Medical Assistance in Dying requests
  • Providing care in the last days and hours
  • Understanding and preventing compassion fatigue

The PSW text and resources are much more than just a palliative care resource.

Students also develop their core care-giving skills. In addition to learning how to integrate a palliative approach and understanding dying, supporting physical comfort and so on,  the PSW resources support learners to develop their core care-giving skills. These include building:

  • Self-awareness
  • Therapeutic boundaries
  • Skills for communicating in difficult conversations
  • Capacity for supporting cultural safety and embedding a trauma-informed approach into their practice.

This is THE textbook for PSWs working in community and Long Term Care!

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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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