San Marcos,
13:51 PM

IPC at CSUSM Partners on Free Training Webinars

The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care at Cal State San Marcos has partnered with the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care (SDCCC) and Sharp Healthcare to offer free online training sessions for students and clinicians across healthcare disciplines, including skilled nursing facility staff, to develop and enhance skills for facilitating meaningful conversations with patients and families about their health care preferences.

The 90-minute training sessions are offered at 1 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month. Sign up at the SDCCC website by the Friday before a session.

“This project makes a positive impact on our community by providing future and current health care professionals with knowledge and training directly related to palliative care and advance care planning,” said Michael McDuffie, Faculty Director of the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM. “In response to the pandemic, we’re doing our part to pivot toward an online world of distanced communication. Our training directly supports our initiative to implement telehealth advance care planning in local nursing homes, and it’s gratifying to know that a growing number of families have already done some important planning, with good support, thanks to our growing project.”

The training webinar helps attendees learn more about Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), including:

  • How to have a skillful POLST conversation;
  • How to properly complete the POLST document;
  • How to store and retrieve the POLST document utilizing the community ePOLST registry; and
  • Current POLST updates and policy.

One free Continuing Education Unit (CEU) will be provided for eligible RN’s, upon completion of the course post survey.

The webinar series was launched at the invitation of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) and complements a project being piloted through a collaboration between the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM, the CCCC and SDCCC using telehealth technologies to conduct advance care planning conversations during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic makes it very important for patients and families to think about unexpected health care needs and discuss the sorts of medical treatments that are wanted or unwanted; however, social distancing and infection control measures make it hard for nursing home residents to have these discussions, especially with educational support from trained professionals,” McDuffie said.

“Our project explores the feasibility of having advance care planning discussions via telehealth technologies, using Zoom or similar platforms to connect patients, families and patient education specialists. Through telehealth conferences, patients receive educational support to update or complete a new set of POLST form, preparing them for additional consultation with their medical providers. Our project also includes an educational component for future health care professionals: Graduate students in health-related fields complete an online orientation session and then are invited, with patient/family permission, to observe the conference and gain firsthand exposure to the conversational skills and knowledge necessary for this sort of patient education.”