Palliative Care Education – Why Now?

By March 22, 2016 4 Comments
CU iPallCARE ProgramFaculty

Hi there, I am Regina Fink, one of the nursing co-directors of the new interprofessional Master of Science in Palliative Care Program (MSPC) at the University of Colorado. We are on an exciting journey – offering state-of-the-art palliative care education to working health care providers. We have also developed a Palliative Care Certificate program consisting of four courses that can get you started in palliative care and help you prepare for palliative care nursing certification.

Follow the stories of our faculty as we share our experiences. We are excited about palliative care and look forward to networking with you. Our goal is to improve palliative care knowledge to health care providers who care for patients with serious, chronic, and life-threatening illness as you remain in your community setting. Palliative care is something all people in all communities need to have.

Passionate for palliative care

How did I become interested in palliative care? It all started many years ago (in the late 70’s) when I worked as a new graduate nurse on an investigational chemotherapy unit at a large cancer center. Many of the people I cared for experienced pain from advanced disease and a multitude of symptoms/side effects from therapy. As caregivers, we did not have the knowledge about how to manage those symptoms and unfortunately, our patients suffered. I became an advocate for my patients ensuring they had improved pain management and quality of life. I started conversations about goals of care with patients and families. I also developed and taught courses to nurses and others about pain and symptom assessment and management, as I realized our basic and continuing nursing education was lacking.

My 38-plus-year oncology background, interest and involvement in research and evidence-based practice, and teaching experiences has fueled my passion for palliative care. We want to hear from you about your practice environment, educational needs, and thoughts about providing palliative care in your setting, whether it be in your local rural community, academic medical center, long-term care, or home health setting.

I invite you to learn more about becoming a PC Community Specialist by visiting our website to learn more about our MSPC program for working providers. Follow our blogs as we introduce the faculty and discuss our classes, and contact us to learn more about enrolling in the program.

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