HSP3110EN - Communication in Palliative Care

Course description

Addressing the challenges of life-limiting or life-ending illness with those in distress demands the best from medical or pastoral caregivers. In this course, students will study, engage, and practice the vital communication skills necessary for empathic engagement with the seriously ill and their families. The broader use of palliative care interventions will also be examined and applied to real world case studies so that caregivers can engage effectively the needs of the seriously ill.

How this course benefits students

Anyone engaging people with serious illness at the end of their lives will feel uncomfortable and anxious. Students will develop the skills to manage that anxiety, engage the challenges of talking to the seriously ill, and serve a therapeutic role in the life of the patient. This course establishes basic skills for communicating with palliative care patients.

Why this course is important

Interview techniques and effective interventions with seriously ill persons are lacking in the healthcare system. Most caregivers are racked with anxiety around these conversations. This course will equip students to practically, calmly, and effecdtively engage conversations that many fear to engage.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Hospice & Palliative Care
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Jesus' model of engagement with others is challenging, empathic, and healing in nature. Christians are called to be the body of Christ, and in doing so, believes must develop the heart of compassion and skills for empathic engagement.

Missionally driven

Interpersonal engagement and the practice of a healing presence is transformational in nature. Missional Christians develop an interpersonal set of skills that enables the presence of Christ to be felt in the life of someone else.

Contextually informed

Effective interventions in palliative care are always contextual, for the right intervention depends on assessment of needs. To offer these interventions with a ministerial spirit is to bring the Christ light into a context that needs it most.

Interculturally focused

Because palliative care interventions are contextual, they require a sensitive eye towards diversity of language, culture, and meaning.

Practically minded

This course will help caregivers engage not only patients, but their families, colleagues, and others with a more refined set of listening, communication, and engagement skills.

Experientially transformed

Students will practice their communication skills with others, using an action/reflection model that will help them apply their learning in real-life contexts.