About this Course
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Beginner Level


Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

4 hours to complete


In this module, you will learn about suffering. Suffering is different for each person living with serious illness. Suffering has many causes, such as pain, and other physical symptoms. People also suffer because of emotional, spiritual and social concerns. If you have done a great job of easing pain, but you don’t offer help for other problems, the person will still suffer. You will learn how to help people feel like someone understands them and they are not alone. You will learn how to help people feel better, with less confusion and more hope. Finally, you will hear Ollie Green talk about his experiences of illness and suffering.

14 videos (Total 49 min), 10 readings, 2 quizzes
14 videos
Are You Suffering?51s
Core Values Defined2m
Understanding Suffering5m
A Conversation Between Ollie Green and Chaplain Julie7m
Empathy vs Sympathy2m
Palliative Care Definition4m
Talking to Patient About Their Illness2m
Two Questions1m
Nature of Suffering Evaluation Form2m
Ollie Green Dialogue 13m
Ollie Green Dialogue 25m
Ollie Green Dialogue 33m
What Have We Learned So Far1m
10 readings
About Us: Palliative Care Specialization Team at CU Anschutz10m
What is Palliative Care Information10m
Understanding Suffering to Ease Suffering10m
Understanding Suffering30m
Ollie Green Story and Case Study: Background10m
Empathy vs Sympathy15m
Palliative Care Definition30m
Guides to Communications Pocket Card15m
Review the Nature of Suffering Evaluation Form30m
What Have We learned?10m
2 practice exercises
Nature of Suffering Quiz10m
Suffering Assessment30m
2 hours to complete


In this lesson, you’ll learn about SNAP, an easy-to-remember set of skills to use for effective conversations about values and beliefs.

2 videos (Total 10 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
2 videos
Tips for SNAP5m
2 readings
Steps of SNAP15m
Putting SNAP into Practice1h
1 practice exercise
Steps of SNAP10m
5 hours to complete

Communication in Palliative Care

In this module you will learn about the importance of good communication skills as we work with patients and families living with serious illness. People often believe that communication skills are something you are born with... She is just ‘a natural’ at talking with patients and families. They always love to talk with her. I am just not good at talking with others… We would never say “She is just a natural at walking, reading, driving a car or any of other things that we need to be able to do to live and enjoy our lives." We watch and learn from others and then we work and practice until we can master a new skill. We all can learn ways to be better at communicating with patients and families. We can learn basic skills of active listening, being supportive, providing and reinforcing information to patients and families, and encouraging the patient/family caregiver to talk with us. In this module, we will review some specific techniques to use when we share bad news with a patient and family caregiver. This can be scary and uncomfortable for both the patient, the family caregiver and the healthcare providers. However, this too, can become a natural part of our goal of patient-centered communication.

11 videos (Total 54 min), 6 readings, 1 quiz
11 videos
Feeling Heard and Understood1m
A Conversation Between Ollie, Judy, and Bob11m
Transmission vs. Transactional Communication2m
Transactional Style of Communications3m
Effective Communications Can Be Healing6m
Understanding the Severity of an Illness, Importance of Informed Consent, and Plan for an Uncertained Future6m
Introduction to Sharing Bad News2m
6 readings
Feeling Heard and Understood1h
Ollie Green Story and Case Study: Background10m
Next Steps55m
Tips for Better Communications30m
1 practice exercise
Communication Skills in Palliative Care30m
4 hours to complete

Effective Palliative Care Begins with Self-Awareness

This module has three lessons. In the first lesson, you will explore your personal values and beliefs around health, illness and dying. This self-awareness will improve your ability to have effective palliative care conversations with people who have serious illnesses. In the second lesson, you will reflect on your values and beliefs from childhood and consider what's important to you as an adult. We will focus on values and beliefs around health, illness and dying, all of which are important to consider in palliative care. Lastly, you will reflect on your potential to judge or pull away from people who don't share your values and beliefs.

7 videos (Total 22 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
7 videos
Importance of Self-Awareness3m
Reflecting on Your Values and Beliefs3m
Reflecting on Health3m
Reflecting on Illness3m
Reflecting on Dying3m
I'm Not Judgmental!4m
3 readings
Why Do I Need To Be Self-Aware?1h
Reflecting on Your Values and Beliefs10m
I'm Not Judgmental!40m
1 practice exercise
I'm Not Judgmental15m
9 ReviewsChevron Right

Top reviews from What is Palliative Care?

By DLApr 1st 2019

Course was well presented and was informative. I would recommend.

By JFMar 1st 2019

Great informative videos and supplemental reading.



Regina Fink

Associate Professor
General Internal Medicine

Maurice Scott

University of Colorado - Palliative Medicine

Kelly Arora

Co-Director, Interprofessional Graduate Certificate & Master of Science in Palliative Care (MSPC), Allied Health Professionals

Amos Bailey

Director, Interprofessional Graduate Palliative Care Certificate/Master of Science in Palliative Care
Internal Medicine University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Nancy Robertson

Nurse Practitioner
University of Colorado Anschutz medical Campus

About University of Colorado System

The University of Colorado is a recognized leader in higher education on the national and global stage. We collaborate to meet the diverse needs of our students and communities. We promote innovation, encourage discovery and support the extension of knowledge in ways unique to the state of Colorado and beyond....

About the Palliative Care: It's Not Just Hospice Anymore Specialization

People living with serious, life-limiting, chronic illness experience significant suffering. Fortunately there are new and developing treatments which may cure some and improve survival for many people living with serious illness. However, seriously ill people and their loved ones still experience many distressing physical symptoms as well as spiritual, social and psychological distress. There is much we can do to support people to live well with serious and life-limiting illness by understanding the causes of suffering, using effective communications, and incorporating careful assessments and interventions designed to address specific needs. The Palliative Care: It’s not Just Hospice Specialization covers core concepts on the nature of suffering and demonstrates how to evaluate suffering and illustrates this in realistic patient scenarios. In subsequent weeks we learn and practice specific skills to improve communication with patients and families to help them express their experience, express and understand their core goals and values and our own empathic response. You will also learn about specific problems such as physical pain, fatigue and shortness of breath as well as psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. In addition, spiritual and social distress will be discussed with a focus on the practical evaluation and management of these challenges. All of these skills will enable you to support people to live active and full lives despite serious illness....
Palliative Care: It's Not Just Hospice Anymore

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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