1 x 9-hour independent study weekly
5 x 1-hour on-line exercises per semester
^ = may be enrolled concurrently
^ PALL8432 - Introduction to the Study of Palliative Care
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity in the use of literature and accessing relevant data bases including OVID Medline, CINAHL, PubMed and any others appropriate to the area of study.
Course context
Available to postgraduate students only
Assignments; Discussion Participation (online)
Topic description
This topic is designed to provide an opportunity for professional carers to broaden their knowledge and understanding of a number of components of the dimension of caring for the spirit in palliative care. The topic explores: spirituality and its expressions, including religion; answering life's questions - faith and meaning in the face of suffering and loss; hope and transcendence; assessment of spiritual strengths and needs; ways of caring for the spirit; who cares for the spirit; capabilities needed for this work; and ethical issues. It does this through both rigorous academic study and reflective exercises.
Educational aims
This topic aims to facilitate the development of students' knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes regarding aspects of the care of the spirit in palliative care, through both rigorous academic study and reflection on personal and professional understandings and practice.
Expected learning outcomes
Upon completion of this topic, students will be able to:

  • Critically discuss spirituality and its different expressions, including religion, and critically appraise the literature regarding who cares for the spirit

  • Articulate an understanding of meaning making and human faith in general and their dynamics in palliative care

  • Critique the literature and reflect on personal and professional experiences concerning the concepts and dynamics of wholeness, suffering, hope and transcendence

  • Reflect on the practice of caring for the spirit; recognise the differences between assessment and discernment and evaluate a number of possible modalities of care of the spirit; discuss the application of this knowledge through the use of case studies and online discussions

  • Identify the required capacities, needs and ethical issues for carers in regard to the spiritual aspects of palliative care

  • Reflect on and strengthen their own spirituality, knowledge, skills and attitudes, and the impact of these on their ability to care for the spirit of people facing life limiting illness, dying and death.