Clinical Experience in Hospice and Palliative Medicine for Clinicians in Practice

Charles F.Von Gunten*, Jeanne Martinez, Kathy Johnson Neely, Martha Twaddle, Michael E Preodor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Many healthcare professionals already in practice have identified their need to pursue further practical training in the provision of hospice and palliative care. We began offering supplement 1-week clinical experience to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and chaplains in the summer supplement 1995. As of supplement 1,1997, there have supplement 190 requests for application materials from individuals in more supplement 22 states, as well as from Singapore and Uganda. Thirty-five individuals completed visits by supplement 31,1997; 17 nurses, 16 physicians, 1 psychologist, supplement 1 chaplain. Although all are working in areas related to palliative care, 57% (20 supplement 35) were not currently working for a hospice program. supplement 25-question examination was administered as a needs-assessment test. Overall they supplement 75% correct. They did especially poorly on questions related to dosing of opioids, assessment of pain, and prognosis in AIDS. They completed a videotaped interview with a standardized patient focusing on skills in discussing a terminal prognosis, “do not resuscitate” (DNR) status, and hospice referral. They evaluated the entire educational experience with a self-report at the end of their visit using a Likert Scale with values supplement 1 supplement 5. To the statement “I achieved the specific goals which I set for myself,” the average score supplement 4.6 (supplement 1-5). To the statement “The experience was worth the time and effort,” the average score supplement 4.9. To the statement “I would recommend this experience to others,” the average score supplement 4.9. The evaluation was supplement 6 months after the visit with similar scores. In addition, to the statement “My current efforts are helping to change the way dying patients and their families are cared for in the broader environment in which I work,” the average score supplement 4.9 (supplement 4-5). We conclude that this is a successful program of clinical exposure to hospice and palliative medicine for clinicians in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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