Advance care planning: Meeting a crucial need

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Abstract

Purpose.

To improve the healthcare team's comfort and efficacy with end-of-life conversations at a 474-licensed bed community acute care hospital through training on advance care planning (ACP) and advance directives (ADs).

Methods.

This instructional program utilized training sessions, including pre- and posttests, to demonstrate enhanced knowledge of and confidence in discussing ACP and ADs among healthcare professionals engaging in end-of-life conversations with patients and their families.

Results.

There were 138 participants included in the program. A pretest and a posttest were completed by the attendees at the beginning and end of training, respectively. Data indicated improved preparedness for end-of-life conversations following the training sessions.

Conclusion.

Training specific to ACP and ADs increases confidence with end-of-life conversations. With the proper knowledge and resources, the healthcare staff can foster these difficult conversations. Although the program exceeded expectations, the sample is considered small and more research will be needed.

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