Goals of Care Conversations Skills Training for Clinicians - National Center for Ethics in Health Care
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National Center for Ethics in Health Care

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Goals of Care Conversations Skills Training for Clinicians

Training for Physicians, Advance Practice Nurses, and
Physician Assistants

This training program consists of flexible, interactive modules to help practitioners improve their skills in delivering serious news and discussing goals of care and life-sustaining treatment decisions with seriously ill patients. It is intended for practitioners who care for patients with serious illness in outpatient, inpatient, long-term care, and home care settings.

Delivering Serious News

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos (QT Version)
Drills Handout 
SPIKES Card

Part 1: Reframing and Expecting Emotion

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos (QT Version)
Drills Handout 
REMAP Card

Part 2: Mapping the Future

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos (QT Version)
Drills Handout

Part 3: Aligning with Patient Goals

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos (QT Version)
Drills Handout

Part 4: Discussing Life-sustaining Treatments

Slides with Facilitator Notes
Drills Handout 
CPR Outcomes Handout

Putting It All Together Practice Exercise

Slides with Facilitator Notes
Drills Handout

Additional Training Resources

All Drills Handouts
Empathic Responses Handout
GoCC Worksheet for MDs/APRNs/PAs
Prognostication Slides 
Values Exercise
Communication Skills Drills Video

Customizing Training to Meet Learners' Needs

Slides with Facilitator Notes (QT Version)

Training for Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, and Chaplains

This program consists of training modules to help clinicians improve their communication skills and conduct goals of care conversations with high-risk patients. It is intended for members of the multidisciplinary team who talk with patients and families about values and goals care, discuss the role of the surrogate decision-maker, and provide information about services and treatments. This course also addresses team-based practices for ensuring that goals of care conversations occur proactively in clinical settings across the health care continuum.

Part 1: Key Communication Skills

Slides with Facilitator Notes 
Handouts: Communications Skills Review Guie and Exercise

Part 2: Discussing and Documenting Goals and Preferences

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos
Handout: Talking Map 
Handout: Services 
Handouts: CPR Outcomes, Progress Notes 
Handouts: Step 5 Exercise, Putting It All Together Exercise

 Part 3: Implementation

Slides with Facilitator Notes
Handout: Implementation Exercise
Handouts: Roles, QI Tracking Sheet, Peer Observation

 Other Files

Sample Training Agenda
Training Sessions Tracking Sheet
Optional Activity: Values ExerciseOptional Handouts: Resources for Clinicians, Patients, and Families

 Training for Multidisciplinary Renal Teams

These training materials have been customized for use with multidisciplinary renal teams by adding examples and drills specific to kidney disease and dialysis. The curriculum includes information about the overlapping and unique roles each team member plays in eliciting patients' goals of care, providing information about treatmeant options, and making shared treatment decisions.

Delivering Serious News and Goals of Care Conversations for Renal Teams

Slides with Facilitator Notes and WM Embedded Videos (QT Version
Drills Handout 
SPIKES Card 
REMAP Card 
Empathic Responses Handout 
GoCC Worksheet 

Optional: Putting It All Together Exercise

Slides with Facilitator Notes 
Drills Handout

Goals of Care Conversations training materials are available for public use.

When using these materials outside of VA, please include this attribution:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Ethics in Health Care. Goals of Care Conversations Training for Physicians, Advance Practice Registered Nurses, and Physician Assistants. https://www.ethics.va.gov/goalsofcaretraining/practitioner.asp. Updated January 3, 2019. Accessed [date].

When citing this page, please use this format:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Ethics in Health Care. Goals of Care Conversations Training for Physicians, Advance Practice Registered Nurses, and Physician Assistants website. https://www.ethics.va.gov/goalsofcaretraining/practitioner.asp. Updated January 3, 2019. Accessed [date].