group stands for photograph in Nursing mezzanine

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is an interprofessional specialty focused on symptom management, quality of life, and relief of distress for patients and their families. The focus of palliative care is on improving the quality of life for patients living with serious illness and their families. Research in multiple settings—including hospitals, intensive care units, clinics, nursing facilities, and home care—has demonstrated that palliative care improves management of pain and other symptoms, helps patients and families cope with serious illness, and ensures that treatment plans align with patient and family goals.

Why is Palliative Care Education Needed?

Palliative care is being adopted rapidly in both inpatient and outpatient settings. As a result, employers are increasingly expressing the need for trained palliative care professionals. UCSF and the UCSF School of Nursing are dedicated to developing and implementing educational programs to expand the palliative care workforce.

What Programs are Available?

  • Palliative Care Minor: This program is for nurses in the advanced practice degree programs in the UCSF School of Nursing who want to develop a high level of expertise in palliative care. The minor includes 3 courses--an overview, advanced communication, and elective course--as well as enrichment activities and faculty mentoring. It is designed for nurses who care for seriously ill patients, either within a palliative care program or within another specialty or area, e.g. oncology, cardiology, primary care, etc. 
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  • Interprofessional Continuing Education in Palliative Care: We developed this program to prepare working health professionals who care for seriously ill patients to gain the skills needed to provide high quality palliative care for their patients, and to serve as champions for palliative care in their workplace. Participants have also used this program to re-focus their career on palliative care. Currently this program is 10 months long and meets once a month on Fridays. Continuing education credits are provided. This program is open to nurses, physicians, chaplains, social workers, nursing assistants case managers, therapists, pharmacists and other practicing clinicians. We will begin accepting applications in February 2017 for the 2017 - 2018 cohort.
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