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Teaching Strategies

End-of-Life Decision Making for Older Adults: Competent and Compassionate Care


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Overview of Teaching Strategy

The complexities and challenges older adults and their families
confront during end-of-life transitions can be overwhelming. Interdisciplinary health care teams play an important role in helping ensure older adults have individualized, compassionate, humanistic, and dignified care at the end of life. The following teaching strategy can be used to introduce end-of-life care and enhance the learning of students in beginning through advanced pre-licensure nursing courses. The teaching strategy can be used in a variety of teaching and learning situations, including didactic lectures; clinical settings, such as post-clinical conferences and debriefings; simulation scenario debriefings; and small seminar discussions.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Appropriately assess client and family needs during end-of-life transitions for older adults.
  • Assess and recognize the clients' physical, emotional, and mental changes associated with the dying experience.
  • Understand the complexities involved in coordinating and managing end-of-life care for older adults.
  • Describe the importance of the interdisciplinary team and the specific role of the nurse when providing care at the end of life.

ACES Essential Nursing Actions

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordinate and Manage Care
  • Make Situational Decisions

NLN Education Competencies

  • Nursing Judgment
  • Human Flourishing
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Nursing Education
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