Caring Science Programs
Conversations on Dying
Conversations on Dying: Creating Excellence in End of Life Communication
“Conversations on Dying” is an introductory One Day program in Conscious Dying Education that increases confidence and skill to engage families and patients in effective Caring End Of Life Communication. The program’s highly experiential and personally transformational content develops capacity to inquire and listen to the needs and heartfelt desires and wishes of those facing death.
Through a variety of “worst and best case” examples generated by participants, it teaches graceful inquiry and honest responses allowing patients and families to access wishes for quality life experiences that they may not have accessed without the support of trusted caring professionals and caregivers.
The program is offered to professional clinicians, non-medical caregivers, and local community organizations and volunteers. It’s intent is to positively improve patient and family experience of care during end of life by improving communication skills in medical professionals and non-medical caregivers.
When families are asked in hindsight what they would change about the experiences surrounding a loved one’s death, most say, “We wish we could have had ‘the conversation’ earlier. The “conversation” they refer is complex indeed, but it primarily involves receiving straightforward information about the following topics in a timely manner:
- An honest prognosis including nearness of death
- How life extending treatments being offered promote or diminish quality of life
- Whether the patient and family would choose curative, highly invasive treatment over healing care providing more shared quality moments with each other during life
The introductory program can be delivered in a one day, 4 hour, or 2 hour formats. The activities are custom designed to ensure safety, trust and maximum learning for specific audiences. They will include:
- Large Group Engagement and Open Dialogue
- Partner Pairings
- Team/Department Pairings
- “Best Life Care” Vision Mapping for System, Family, Professional Practice
This learning format will offer opportunities to explore:
- Best and worst case examples of end of life care and communication
- The gap between current practices in end of life communication and personal wishes for care and communication at end of life
- Professional challenges affecting positive end of life communication
- Instruction in and practice of effective communication method
- Exploration and communication of personal end of life wishes