Online Class: End of Life Care

When it comes to end of life care there are many issues that the patient and family members will go through emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

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Course Description

Navigating End-of-Life Care: A Comprehensive Guide to Decision-Making and Emotional Support

End-of-life care is a profound journey that unfolds on multiple dimensions. From the very instant of a daunting medical diagnosis, a whirlwind of emotions, uncertainties, and questions envelop both the patient and their loved ones. It's a time where fear intertwines with hope, and sorrow mingles with love. Yet, amidst this emotionally charged atmosphere, informed and compassionate planning can offer solace, clarity, and a semblance of control.

Our comprehensive course delves deep into the intricacies of end-of-life care, aiming to equip participants with the knowledge and sensitivity needed to navigate these challenging waters. We understand that the myriad decisions to be made—medical, legal, financial, and emotional—are daunting, and our goal is to illuminate the path forward.

Course Highlights:

  1. The Emotional Spectrum: Gain insights into the complex gamut of feelings that both patients and families experience. Learn strategies to support emotional well-being, manage stress, and foster an environment of empathy and understanding.

  2. Decisive Planning: From choosing the ideal care setting to selecting the right caregivers; from outlining treatment preferences to drafting critical healthcare directives—master the art of proactive decision-making that respects the patient's wishes and eases the burden on loved ones.

  3. Legal and Financial Preparedness: Understand the essentials of estate planning, asset management, and child custody arrangements. Ensure that the patient's wishes concerning their assets and dependents are meticulously honored.

  4. Adaptive Care Strategy: Recognize that end-of-life journeys are dynamic. Plans might require revisiting and revising. Learn how to stay flexible, engage in open communication, and work collaboratively to adapt to changing circumstances.

  5. Building a Supportive Team: Grasp the importance of fostering a united front. With clear communication, mutual respect, honesty, and teamwork, all involved can collaboratively ensure that the patient's final days are dignified, peaceful, and reflective of their wishes.

Life's final chapter is undeniably challenging, but it's also an opportunity for profound connection, introspection, and grace. This course aims to empower you with the knowledge and tools to turn those challenges into opportunities—to transform uncertainty into a roadmap of compassionate care. Whether you're a caregiver, a family member, or someone wanting to understand more about end-of-life planning, this course promises a deep dive into the complexities and nuances of the topic, ultimately aiming to provide solace during one of life's most pivotal moments. Join us and embark on a journey of understanding, preparation, and heartfelt care.

Course Motivation

When a person realizes that they are coming to the end of their life, they will experience a wide range of emotions and feelings. Just as caretakers will find it hard to deal with the situation's reality, patients will find it even more difficult. The patient, family members and friends will experience all of these feelings and emotions in different ways, at different times. It is important to consider that everyone is different, and therefore will handle things differently. Same goes for how the patient and family members will cope. Some will cry, while others will confide in a friend. What is important is that coping does take place, even if it's not recognizable.

Since the patient will be experiencing an array of emotions, it will be crucial to help them find support. This also applies for the patient's family members. Although the feelings listed previously are normal, they can be eased with the help of proper support. If untreated and ignored, it can lead to severe depression. Everyone finds support in doing different things. For example, some will attend church, while others attend support groups. Some will exercise to release anger, while others will get out and socialize with friends. Regardless of how you choose to deal with your illness or your family member's illness, the important thing is that you find something that helps. Finding ways to cope is a very important part of dealing with end of life care because it helps us to face what lies ahead. 

Worry and Anxiety

Many people will worry and have anxiety about what will happen after they are gone, for example, if they have children. Family members will also worry about what they will do without their loved one, and worry or have anxiety over whether they have done or will do the right thing.
Sadness & Anger
It is only natural for a patient to be sad about their current situation. They may also be angry that their life has been cut short, or why it is them who have to suffer through an illness. Caretakers, family members, and friends will also feel angry and sadness because of what is happening to their loved one and angry about the reality that nothing can be done about it. Many people feel powerless or helpless against the situation causing feelings of anger and sadness.

Disbelief & Denial

People will also be in disbelief and cannot believe that this is happening to themselves or their loved one. They feel that maybe there has been some sort of mistake or that things can get better. Some people will deny that they are ill or don't believe that it has happened to them.


Sometimes when a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or when they simply face the end of life, they and family members as well, may bargain. Whomever they speak to spiritually, they may try to bargain in hopes that if they are healed, they will keep a promise they have made in return.  A family member will also bargain in hopes that their loved one will be healed.

Bitterness & Resentment

When we realize that we cannot bargain, we may start to feel resentful towards things such as God, the patient, or even ourselves. This is because we feel as though we have been abandoned and feelings of being alone make us resent whomever we may choose to "blame."


Patients may at times feel guilty. Perhaps they wish they have done something differently as they begin to reflect on the past. Loved ones can also feel guilty during and after their loved one is gone. They too may reflect on how they should have, could have, or did treat their loved one.


The patient may have feelings of depression once the reality of their fate has set in. Many loved ones, friends, and caretakers will also experience this during and after their loved one is gone.


Many patients will be angry and impatient that they are in pain and suffering. They may show this by acting out their anger or by shutting their loved ones out. Family members may also grow impatient because they are witnessing the suffering of their loved one. 

Learning Ways to Cope

Expressing & Acknowledging

It is important that you explore the emotions that you are feeling, express them by sharing them, and acknowledge why you are feeling a certain way. Whether you work through them with a close group of friends, family members, a counselor, or a support group, it is up to you. When emotions linger without being expressed, they will be buried and more  healthy emotions, such as acceptance and healing, cannot occur. If you are the patient or the family member, this must be done to move on.

Caring for Yourself

Coping with the situation cannot occur if you do not properly care for yourself. When patients and family members face end of life care many things will exhaust them physically, mentally, and spiritually. That is why it is important to take care of yourself in all these areas. For example, proper rest, food consumption, finding the right support, and so on, are necessary for everyone.


When coping, it is important to find the individual in which you feel most comfortable confiding in. Perhaps it is your sister, a spiritual advisor, a best friend, etc. No matter whom it is, find them and communicate with them what you feel often. This applies to both the patient and their family members.

Crying & Laughing

Although crying in this case will be caused from confusion, anger, and sadness, always remember that it is good to cry, and it is alright to do so. While some will sob in private, others will need a shoulder to lean on. Crying will help you to cope with the situation. It helps to release emotions which are necessary. Laughing is also ok and will be good for you! Never be afraid to laugh as you reminisce and share stories. It is good for both the patient and family members.

Speak From the Heart

Most of all, if you're loved one is still here, whether or not you think they can hear you, always speak what is within your heart. Chances are they can hear what you are saying even if you think they cannot. It is important to tell your loved one what you are feeling.

How these suggestions help

If we do not cope or express our emotions, our behavior can be negatively impacted. This may cause some regrets in the long run which will impact you negatively. With these various suggestions, although certain emotions may never fully go away, you can make the end of life process go as well as it possibly can.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,906 votes)

Lesson 1: Emotions & Coping: Patients and Family Members

When a person has come to realize that they are coming to the end of their life, they will experience a wide range of emotions and feelings. Additional lesson topics: Coping with Cancer 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Life Course; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Motives for Taking this Course
  • Assessment: Lesson 1: Emotions & Coping: Patients and Family Members

Lesson 2: Communication

Good communication will be crucial when dealing with end of life care. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2: Communication

Lesson 3: Patient Planning/ End of Life Planning

It is impossible for someone to know their time and place of death; however, if you know it will be soon, there are things that can be done to plan for what lies ahead. Additional lesson topics: Planning for end of life 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Life Planning
  • Assessment: Lesson 3: Patient Planning/ End of Life Planning

Lesson 4: Physical Symptoms & Pain Management

Depending on the patient's illness, they can have a variety of different symptoms. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4: Physical Symptoms & Pain Management

Lesson 5: In Home Care

Many patients will decide that they would like to remain within the home with their loved ones and be cared for by them. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5: In Home Care

Lesson 6: Palliative Care

Many patients and family members are not sure what palliative care is exactly. They may be unsure of how it can help, who is involved, when this type of care is appropriate, and so on. Additional lesson topics: Palliative care and Hospice differences 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6: Palliative Care

Lesson 7: Hospice

The concept of Hospice dates all the back to 1967 and served the purpose of offering a place for travelers who fell ill during their journey. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7: Hospice

Lesson 8: Hospitals & Nursing Homes

Often times a patient will make the decision to either remain in the hospital during end of life care or reside within a nursing home. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Life Care
  • Assessment: Lesson 8: Hospitals & Nursing Homes

Lesson 9: Refusing Care

Sometimes a patient will refuse certain types, or all types of care. Because of the seriousness of that decision it is important to understand the treatment in which they are refusing. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9: Refusing Care

Lesson 10: Legal & Financial Plans

There are many legal aspects that the patient and family members will need to consider such as estate and financial planning. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10: Legal & Financial Plans

Lesson 11: After the Patient is Gone

After the patient is gone loved ones of the patient will go through various emotions and will cope in different ways. 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Lesson 11: After the Patient is Gone
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Recognize emotions and coping skills.
  • Describe communication techniques and etiquette when faced with an end of life care situation.
  • Summarize patient planning/end of life planning procedures.
  • Describe physical symptoms and pain management techniques.
  • Describe in home care.
  • Describe palliative care.
  • Describe hospice care.
  • Identify hospitals and nursing homes and end of life care.
  • Identify situations when patients refuse care.
  • Summarize legal and financial plans in end of life care issues.
  • Summarize what needs to be done and how to cope after the patient is gone.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: End of Life Care
Course Number: 7550524
Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (1,906 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: January 2024
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I am extremely impressed with this course. Some things were a reminder and a lot of it was new and I enjoyed learning all the new things. To be able to give the much needed care of one's end of life journey has been placed in my heart for sometime. I have learned so much and now I can be there not only for the patient as they walk through this time but for the families as well. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity so that I may help others." -- Sandra C.
  • "Your voice is easy to listen to. I appreciated learning the right pronunciation for the new words." -- Barbara K.
  • "She was wonderful I loved how she shared with us which one we got wrong." -- Denesha R.
  • "My instructor is excellent, I look forward to her replys." -- Becca F.