Joint Effort Introduces College Students to Hospice Care

Students at the University of Notre Dame have been given the opportunity to add a course on hospice care to their curriculums. 

The University of Notre Dame and the Center for Hospice Care have teamed up to offer a unique course for ND students called, “Introduction to Hospice and Palliative Care.” 

First offered on campus in the Fall Semester of 2011, class organizers were surprised to see even more students enroll this time around, with 95 students total compared to the 80 enrolled in 2011.

The class, which was designed to provide undergraduate students with an introductory understanding of hospice and palliative care, included students from a number of pre-professional studies program, the vast majority of them pursing careers in medicine. 

“Educating future health care providers about the hospice concept and introducing them to the benefits hospice and palliative care provides those facing serious, life-limiting illnesses is at the core of the mission of The Hospice Foundation,” said Mike Wargo, COO of the organization.

The day-long course covered a variety of topics focusing on how hospice and palliative care is given in the current healthcare system. Students were also given an introduction in the compassionate interpersonal communication skills required in caring for those in need of palliative care or who are dying.

Teachers for the course were an interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, social workers and bereavement counselors, as well as other hospice and palliative care staff.

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva

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