Hospice Education Network, Inc.

ELNEC Critical Care Module 1: Palliative Care in Critical Care Nursing (2052)

Betty Ferrell, PhD, FAAN
51 minutes
0.8 Contact Hours / ANCC

The primary aim of palliative care is to address the physical, psychological, spiritual, and practical burden of an illness and palliative nursing care combines caring, communication, knowledge, and skill. However, there are major deficiencies in current systems of care for patients and families at the end of life and social and economic forces influence care provided at the end of life and prognostic uncertainty and the proliferation of life-sustaining technologies shape care in critical care settings. This module provides introductory history and knowledge of palliative care.


  1. Recognize changes in population demographics, health care economics, and service delivery that necessitate improved professional preparation for palliative care population demographics.
  2. Describe the philosophy and principles of hospice and palliative care that can be integrated across critical care settings to effect quality care at the end of life.
  3. Identify the many diverse settings for end-of-life/palliative care in critical care.
  4. Identify specific clinical and organizational behaviors and interventions that influence end-of-life/palliative care quality indicators and other resources.

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