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Social Work Training in Palliative and End of Life Care

The Metropolitan Jewish Health System (MJHS) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) have joined together to create a new training program for healthcare social workers in any setting. Educating Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (ESPEC) was developed by social workers for social workers. The skills taught will help social workers integrate core palliative care principles into their day-to-day clinical practice. With the limited number of specialty palliative care practitioners, training at the general practitioner’s level will help increase access to palliative care for those living with serious illness.

According to the NASW news release, the curriculum is broken down to 4 parts:

Part I. Online Training: Interactive, self-paced training includes instructional videos of patient and family encounters, interactive exercises, reflective questions, and supplemental resources using the eight domains of palliative care as a framework. Social workers receive 8.0 hours of Social Work CE.

Part II. Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT): Live online instructor-led training is designed to improve confidence and competence in key social work skills using live clinical scenarios and group discussion. Resources include Best Practice Guides. Social workers receive 2.5 hours of Social Work CE.

Part III. Leadership Training: Live virtual training focuses on the development of effective advocacy and leadership skills. The content is designed to improve competence, confidence, and visibility in the health social work role. Social workers receive 4.0 hours of Social Work CE split into two 2-hour sessions.

Part IV. Monthly Mentorship: Live virtual sessions are provided to social workers who have completed Part I, the online training. Mentorship by an experienced palliative care social worker is focused on the implementation of new practice skills and common challenges facing front-line health social workers in the workplace.

Social Workers are ideal for implementing Advance Care Planning in your practice along with addressing social determinants of health that impact your patient’s quality of life and healthcare outcomes. If you want to provide training to your social work staff, click here to learn more about the program and to register.

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