Telling the Difficult Truth to a Dying Patient

1.25 CEU

Most professionals now believe that patients are entitled to explanations of their illnesses that are understandable and convincing, yet the problem of what a seriously ill or dying patient should be told (and how and when) is one that constantly exercises the minds of those with clinical responsibility. If medical-nursing care is to become the cooperative team venture we idealistically project, the doctor, nurse, support team, patient, and family should have rapport; truth should be shared so that the patient’s problems and concerns can be fully discussed and addressed.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the options for time, place and emotional status in discussing the patient’s prognosis with him or her.
  • Explain the concept of “too much honesty”.
  • Describe the advantages of honesty concerning discussions with a patient about his or her death.
  • Discuss the conditions of comfort with ones own mortality.
  • Compare and contrast family responses to a member’s process of dying.

Course Approvals:

  • NAB: This educational offering has been reviewed by the National Continuing Education Review Service (NCERS) of the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and approved for 1 clock hours.
  • California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (LVN):#V-10621
  • CE Broker Approved for Florida Long Term Care Administrators, Nurses, and Certified Nurse Aides as well as District of Columbia Certified Nurse Aides and Home Health Aides
  • Continuing Education (CE) by the New Jersey Board of Social Work Examiners under N.J.A.C 13:44-6
  • Michigan Department of Human Services: Approved for Adult Foster Care Administrators pursuant to Rules 400.14203 and 400.15203
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment: Approval #: LTS -A1138 (Resident Care)
  • Oregon Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators: 2004-75: General:0 Ethics:1

About the Instructor

ann_widmerDr. Ann Widmer is the Dean of the School of Management at Concordia University Portland where she developed the Baccalaureate degree in Health Care Administration and their case-based Masters in Business Administration. She teaches in the area of Health Care Law and Ethics and directs the research, thesis and internship courses for the MBA.

She has published three national award winning books in health care administration, home health care, and hospice. The latest, Home Health Care Nursing, was released by Harcourt, Brace, Saunders Spring, 2002. Dr. Widmer serves on numerous corporate and not-for profit boards in Portland for long term care and parish nursing. She is on the executive committee for Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, and was voted one of the Twenty Five Outstanding Business Women in Portland in 1998 by the Oregon Business Journal.