Post-MSW Certificate in Palliative Care
Social workers play a key role in improving the individual experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the costs of care for populations. Yet in many health care settings, social work services are undervalued and at times, understaffed.
The role of the social worker is central to palliative care’s goal of providing compassionate, patient and family-centered care that relieves the suffering and improves quality of life for those with serious or chronic illness.
The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care’s Post-MSW Palliative Care Social Work Certificate Program is an 8-month online course designed to provide master’s prepared social workers with the knowledge and skills to be successful working in a palliative care, interprofessional environment whether that is in a hospital, hospice or other setting.
“We have a group of five social workers that are very cohesive, happy working together, and doing great work. Our team wouldn’t be whole without them, and the (Post-MSW Palliative Care Certificate) course has been helpful to pull them together and help them function at the top of their license.”
Bill Mitchell, MD, Director of Palliative Care at UC San Diego Health
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What You’ll Learn
Required Course Textbook
- The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work by Terry Altilio and Shirley Otis-Green
All classes follow a three weeks on, one week off format. Participants will be expected to spend between 6 to 8 hours weekly on course related activities during the three “on” weeks.
Level 1: 2 Modules
Module 1: Palliative Care Social Workers: Exploring the Heart of Who We Are
- Week 1: Our History, Our Values, Our Path
- Week 2: The Social Worker – Team Member, Team Leader and Safari Guide Assuring a Focus on Person-Centered Care
- Week 3: The Role of the Social Worker in Pain Management and Spiritual Care – We Are Right There With You!
Module 2: Those Often Overlooked yet Critical Skills
- Week 1: Exposing Urban Myths with Critical Thinking
- Week 2: Is This the Right Path? Screening and Assessment
- Week 3: Going Beyond Emotional Support – Motivational Interviewing and Care Planning
Level 2: Advanced Skill Development
Module 3: Moving Beyond “Eclectic”: Essential Skills for Palliative Care Social Work Practice
- Week 1: Informed by Research: New Perspectives on Grief and Loss
- Week 2: Doing Nothing is Motivated by Something – Motivational Interviewing Part II
- Week 3: Utilizing Clinical Techniques within Our Scope of Practice – CBT, Mindfulness, etc.
Module 4: Challenges and Opportunities: Working with Challenging Situations
- Week 1: Working with Challenging Systems – Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Families
- Week 2: Is it Just a Personality Conflict? Personalities and Disorders
- Week 3: “The Good Death?” Taking a Proactive Approach with Dying and Death
Module 5: What it Means to be Inclusive
- Week 1: “Underserved Populations” – Investigating Diversity and Inclusion
- Week 2: Population Specific Best Practices
- Week 3: The Often Misunderstood – Gender, LGBTQ, Non-Religious
Module 6: When Both Yes and No Seem Wrong: Ethics in Palliative Care
- Week 1: Get Some Help! Resolving Ethical Dilemmas and Boundaries
- Week 2: Under the Microscope – Examining Palliative Sedation, Suicide, Assisted Suicide, “Self-Deliverance” and Choice
- Week 3: “What did you say!?”: Turning Our Attention to Language
Module 7: Putting it All Together: About Dying and Death
- Week 1: About Dying and Death Part 1
- Week 2: About Dying and Death Part 2
- Week 3: Self-Care: Care for Us Caregivers
Level 3: Social Work Leadership: Putting it All Together
Module 8: Social Work Leadership
- Week 1: Final Projects – Implementation and Review
- Week 2: Enhancing Professionalism – Social Workers as Leaders
- Week 3: Your Plan: Designing the Future
Sandy Jones McClintic, LCSW, ACHP-SW is the Social Work Section Chair for the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals (NCHPP) of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and a social worker with Hospice of Arizona.
Chris Onderdonk, LCSW is a Clinical Social Worker with the Doris A. Howell Service at the University of California San Diego. He has over 10 years of experience in hospice and palliative care working across the continuum in hospice, bereavement, and inpatient palliative care. Chris has extensive experience training and mentoring social workers in the palliative care field and he has presented at both local and national conferences.