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Social Work Students: Learn More About Advance Care Planning and End of Life Conversation Curriculum

advanced care

The Advance Care Planning Interdisciplinary Team at UMB is offering a course that runs from October 2018 through March 2019. All sessions occur at the University of Maryland Medical Center campus.

Sessions include:

- 3 lunch time talks scheduled from 12-130 on Fridays 10/12, 11/2, and 11/30. Topics include advance care planning, death and dying in the hospital, and communication at the end of life. Food to be provided during these three didactic sessions.

- Additionally, you will experience practice sessions with an interdisciplinary team approach to advance care planning in the UMD Standardized Patient Lab. These practice sessions are to be scheduled ahead of time to accommodate your exam schedules.

Description of Initiative:

A US national report in 2003 evaluated advance care planning education and demonstrated gaps in both student and resident comfort in providing care to the dying as well as faculty and resident discomfort in teaching those topics1. Thirteen years later, a 2016 national poll of over 700 physicians demonstrated similar findings, identifying lack of formal training and uncertainty of how to communicate with patients about advance care planning as key barriers2. One critical aspect of care for individuals who are dying is the preparation of advance directives, ideally while patients are still able to express their own wishes. Both providers and patient families are faced with extremely difficult situations at clinical crossroads when patient autonomy is challenged and documentation of these earlier discussions or advance directives (AD) are absent. In response to recognized gaps in internal medicine residents’ knowledge and comfort with AD planning, the University of Maryland internal medicine resident clinic, University Health Center (UHC), implemented a quality improvement (QI) initiative to improve the rate of AD discussion and completion. Beginning in January 2017, while on their ambulatory rotation, each resident is scheduled for an “Advance Directive” half day, which includes an interdisciplinary clinic visit with one of their patients and the UHC clinical social worker.

The overall goal of this ‘Interprofessional Approach to Advance Care Planning’ education project is to enhance the education and clinical competencies of medical, social work, and nursing students in the area of Advance Care Planning (ACP) and build their appreciation for team-based care delivery. The Interprofessional Approach to Advance Care Planning project will offer these students advanced topic education and the opportunity to collaborate in this domain of practice. This will be accomplished through the development of student level education at the schools of medicine, social work, and nursing.

First and second year medical students on the Primary Care Track or in the Geriatric Student Interest Group, second year (advanced year) clinical social work students in the Aging Specialization, Behavioral Health, or Health Specialization Tracks, and nursing students will be recruited to participate, with an estimated final group of 50 students. An educational series will include three topic discussions, each dedicated to an area of focus related to ACP (1: An Overview of Advance Care Planning in Baltimore, 2: Death and Dying in the Hospital: Participatory Medicine and the Challenges of Providing Effective End of Life Care, and 3: Communication at End of Life). During the training, students will attend a supervised clinical interaction dedicated to ACP at the University of Maryland patient simulation lab.

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