NOTE: Enrollment in this course is now full. You may join the waiting list here. We will notify you if space opens up.
Individuals diagnosed with an illness often wrestle with painful spiritual and existential questions, regardless of their faith or belief structure. If you are a health professional in any discipline, you need the skills to address this important aspect of patient care.
In this 4-week online instructor-led course, you’ll learn how to be comfortable identifying and talking about religious and spiritual issues; how to show hospitality for all religious traditions or spiritual practices; and how to use a spiritual assessment tool.
You’ll also develop an understanding of the ethics involved in spiritual care and learn when to refer patients or their caregivers to a chaplain or other spiritual care specialist.
This course is available at no charge through a pilot project offered in collaboration with Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, with funding from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation. Your participation will help advance the field and enhance the way you care for patients and families.
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What You’ll Learn
By the conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to:
- Apply the concept of compassionate presence to clinical care
- Understand the role of spirituality in your professional life
- Document the patient’s spiritual screen and generalist-level spiritual care plan in their chart in order to work as a team with other health caregivers to support a patient/family spiritually
- Recognize how spirituality affects patients’/families’ health care decisions and values regarding care
- Incorporate spiritual care at the generalist level into your clinical role as a healthcare professional
- Maintain appropriate boundaries in your spiritual care with patients
What You’ll Earn
When you complete this course, you’ll earn:
- 4 continuing education (CE) credits provided through California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Extended Learning, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider #CEP11422
This course features a pretest and posttest, as well as interactive modules, videos, and discussion questions that help you reflect on and practice what you’re learning. You can access lessons anytime starting on Wednesday of each week, with your response to the discussion question due by Saturday night, and two responses to your classmates’ posts due by Tuesday night.
Module 1: Introduction to Spiritual Generalist Care
In this 1-hour module, you’ll get an introduction to spiritual generalist care, learn what pitfalls to avoid, and develop a deeper understanding of the role of spirituality in healthcare settings.
Module 2: Enactment with a Spiritual Screening Tool
This 1-hour module introduces you to an evidence-based spiritual screening tool and gives you the opportunity to practice using it on a vignette that most closely matches your clinical setting.
Module 3: Spiritual Distress
In this 1-hour module, you’ll learn how to identify when a patient is in a state of spiritual distress, how to document the spiritual screen and care plan, and how to talk about spiritual distress with the rest of the healthcare team.
Module 4: The Work of the Spiritual Specialist
In this 1-hour module, you’ll develop a better understanding of the role of the chaplain/spiritual care specialist and learn to recognize when a patient or family needs specialized spiritual care.
This course was developed by Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, with funding from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.
Need more information? See our FAQ.
Course Participation / Waitlist
Enrollment in this course is limited. Once the program is full, interested students can sign up for a waitlist that will be added to this page.
Enrolled students must login to the course no later than midnight Thursday, Oct. 1 to show you are participating. If you miss that deadline, you will be dropped from the course so that a student from the waitlist can be added.