Advanced Practice Palliative Care Certificate for Social Workers
(formerly Post-MSW Certificate in Palliative Care)
Palliative care social workers help make sure patients with serious illnesses get compassionate, whole-person care that addresses their symptoms, reflects their healthcare wishes, and supports their families and caregivers.
This 8-month instructor-led program, newly revised and updated, gives you personalized attention and mentorship, rigorous in-depth content, and small group interaction. The depth of the learning rivals in-person clinical programs, with the convenience and flexibility of online learning.
You’ll gain expert skills in palliative care social work including how to navigate the diverse demands of the job, assess psychosocial suffering, use therapies support patients and families, and be a leader on the palliative care team.
Delivered through the Institute’s unparalleled, interactive online learning platform, this course features in-depth case studies, group discussion, and rigorous content that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
Get the Brochure!
What You’ll Learn
- Foundational aspects of palliative care social work including advanced communication strategies, interdisciplinary team functions, and the role of the palliative care social worker as a team leader
- An understanding of how values, ethics, self-awareness, critical thinking, and relationship apply to social work best practices
- Serious and chronic illness care from a holistic, patient-centered perspective, incorporating evidence-based strategies to address physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual suffering
- Palliative care ethical issues and perspectives
- Leadership skills for palliative care social workers including relationship and team building
- How to assess for self-improvement and develop concrete plans, processes, and strategies for growth
What You’ll Earn
Learners who complete this course will earn:
- 144 continuing education (CE) credits provided through California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Extended Learning, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
- 6 continuing education credits on Ethics (included in the 144-CE total)
This 8-month course allows you to complete weekly lessons on your own schedule. The course content includes online coursework, readings, discussions, case studies, quizzes, and interactive instructor-facilitated discussions. Time commitment should be approximately 5-7 hours per week.
Each three-week module is followed a one-week break. For a more detailed course outline with learning objectives, download the brochure.
Weeks 1-3: Palliative Care Social Workers: Exploring the Heart of Who We Are
- Our History, Our Values, Our Path
- Patient-Centered Teamwork: Roles and Responsibilities
- Our Process
Week 4: Break
Weeks 5-7: Critical Social Work Skills in Palliative Care
- Assessment and Planning Documentation
- Foundational Counseling Skills
- Symptom Management and Social Worker’s Role
Week 8: Break
Weeks 9-11: Enhance Counseling Skills
- Best Practices Modules
- Motivational Interviewing
- Working with the Dying
Week 12: Break
Weeks 13-15: Valuing Diversity, Practicing Inclusivity
- Cultural Competence for the Palliative Care Social Worker
- Inclusion and Unintentional Exclusion
- Working with the Gender and the LGBTQ Community
Week 16-17: Break
Weeks 18-20: Learning into Challenging Situations
- Complex and Complicated Dynamics with Patents and Families
- Personalities and Disorders
- Trauma and its Impact on Families and Staff (Suicide, Disasters, Assaults, Multiple Victims)
Week 21: Break
Weeks 22-24: The Broken Heart – The Healing Heart
- Grief, Bereavement and Mourning
- Caring for ourselves and others
- Religion, Spirituality, and the Existential Experience
Week 25: Break
Weeks 26-28: Integrity: Values, Ethics, and Practice
- Language as an Ethical Tool
- Bioethics and Practice Dilemmas
- The Desire to Hasten Death and the Social Worker Response
Week 29: Break
Weeks 30-32: Social Work Leadership
- Social Workers in Quality Improvement and Evidence-Informed
- Social Workers as Educators
- Social Workers in Leadership
Completion and Refunds
For instructor-led courses, to quality for a refund, you must request your cancellation in writing at least five (5) business days prior to the start of the course. If approved, there will be a $35 administrative fee charged to process the refund. There are no refunds for self-paced courses.
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