Palliative care is the unique way caregivers think, respond, and act as they give skilled and compassionate care to a dying person and the support system of that person. The course begins by helping each nurse understand their own perceptions of death and palliation by reflecting on their experiences with dying people. After exploring the concept of a Palliative Approach each participant will gain specific and current knowledge about symptom assessment and management, and how to deal with selected palliative emergency situations. Particularly unique aspects of caring for the dying, eg, family care, communication, grief, and self-care will be explored.

This course focuses on the normal changes of aging in all body systems. Select chronic diseases or conditions, and their treatment modalities, will be reviewed simultaneously with body system overviews. Using Carol Miller's (2009) Model for Promoting Wellness in Older Adults, an exploration of potential risk factors, iatrogenic complications, and functional challenge will lead the nurse to critically think about how to enhance physical health function. The compounding effect of acute illness on chronic health problems will also be examined.