Palliative Care Knowledge Following an Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Seminar

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic created a unique opportunity to evolve an interdisciplinary palliative care seminar (IPC) into a virtual platform. This seminar provides foundational palliative and hospice concepts, introductions into palliative care disciplines, integration of teamwork, and incorporates interdisciplinary student led patient encounters. Traditionally, this experience had been in person, however during the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare restrictions transitioned the educational delivery to a virtual platform. Methods: To assess the knowledge gained from this novel experience, the Palliative Care Knowledge Test (PCKT) was administered before and after the IPC Seminar. A 1-year follow up survey was also administered to evaluate how the IPC Seminar was applicable to the students’ clinical experiences and practice. Results: The virtual didactics and virtual student led patient encounters significantly improved learners understanding of palliative and hospice care. This gain of knowledge was noted across undergraduate and graduate programs, which highlights the need for and benefit from foundational concepts. Furthermore, a 1-year follow up survey noted the IPC seminar was applicable to their practices and suggests that this experience will impact future patients. Discussion: Many of the students practice in rural areas where access to palliative care services is limited or non-existent. This experience exponentially impacts the growth of palliative and hospice care understanding and access to care across the region. Conclusion: Evolving our IPC Seminar has shown to significantly improve knowledge, foster collaboration of student led interdisciplinary teams, and increases capacity to meet the needs of more learners.

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American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine

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