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Practical Aspects of Palliative Care: Integrating Palliative Care into Clinical Practice (PAPC) – Harvard Medical School

September 15, 2016 - September 17, 2016


This two-and-one-half-day course is designed to offer physicians, nurses, and other clinicians the information and skills needed to provide high-quality palliative care to patients with serious illnesses in a variety of practice settings. It addresses the assessment and management of current challenges in palliative care, including the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual/existential sources of suffering experienced by patients and their families. Through plenary sessions and small breakout groups, participants will develop a toolbox of palliative care competencies and will learn from colleagues facing similar practice challenges.

Sessions will focus on pain and symptom control, cultural issues, communication skills, prognostication, bereavement, management of various non-oncological conditions, the special needs of patients at various stages of the life cycle, and ethical, legal, and practical issues in the setting of advanced illness. Recent research in palliative care will also be presented.

Interactive learning formats include: Q&A, panel presentations, small group and case-based discussions, and ask the expert sessions. Sessions are small, intimate, and accessible. They are designed to change both learner competence and performance in practice.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Assess and manage physical, psychological, social, and spiritual/existential sources of suffering for patients and their families dealing with serious illnesses.
  • Develop practical strategies for introducing discussions of patient fears, hopes, goals, and wishes for care at the end of life, including a use of life-sustaining technology, balancing hope and honesty in discussing treatment options, and dealing with the ethical issues that arise at the end of life.
  • Cultivate approaches to working with diverse patient populations (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics), different diseases (e.g., heart failure, renal disease, dementia), challenging scenarios (e.g., withholding fluids and nutrition at the end of life, addiction, “difficult” patients and families, talking with children about death), and various settings (e.g., long-term care, intensive care unit).
  • Describe key issues and principles of pain management with opioids, including equianalgesic dosing, common side effects, addiction, tolerance, and dependence.

Who Should Attend?

We invite all physicians, nurses, social workers, and allied health professionals who work with patients and families with serious illness or near the end of life to attend this course.


September 15, 2016
September 17, 2016
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Harvard Medical School
+1 617-432-1000


CPD Credits
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Royal Sonesta Hotel
40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard
Cambridge, MA 02142 United States
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+1 504-586-0300

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