Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Resource For Nursing Assistants

Peek inside the nursing assistant’s textbook with this digital preview
Whether you’re looking for a developed hospice and palliative care curriculum, for modules to intersperse through your existing  Certified Nursing Assistant or Care Aide program, for hospice aide and hospice volunteer training, or for continuing education in hospice and palliative care, Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Resource for Nursing Assistants program is for you.

“I am very aware that many front-line caregivers will receive their education through courses and classes. I wanted to develop teaching resources that would be helpful for them. My goal was to create a curriculum: text book, workbook, along with the complimentary videos, podcast library and PPT teaching presentations (with lecture notes), and an Instructors Guide to tie all of these resources together, providing lesson plans, references, and ideas for further study.” – Kath Murray

palliative care education for nursing assistants

This book was written specifically for nursing assistants—you! It will warmly engage you and provide you with the essential tools and knowledge to respond to the needs of the dying and their families. Filled with practical strategies, stories of care-giving, and real-life scenarios, Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care will increase your confidence, competence and comfort in providing compassionate care for the dying.

In reading this book, you will learn the importance of:

  • Integrating a palliative approach into the care of people with any life-threatening disease, early in the disease process, across all care settings
  • Reflecting, developing self-awareness and maintaining therapeutic boundaries
  • Communicating, and how to open doors to conversations and avoid roadblocks

You will also learn about:

  • Common symptoms of dying, and tools to help you gather information and provide comfort measures
  • Psychosocial needs, and how to create a nurturing place and respond in difficult situations
  • Last days and hours, and strategies to use in caring for the dying person and family
  • Self-care and compassion fatigue, and ways to care for yourself
  • The health care team, and strategies for advocating and good communication practices

New as well as experienced caregivers will benefit from reading Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, to learn new ways together to prepare to care for coming tsunami of dying in the 21st century.

Companion Resources


Podcast Library

Boost your students’ learning with these podcasts on the principles and practices of hospice palliative care. Open access to our extensive podcast library means students can listen and learn at school, at home or when they travel – as many times as they want! Podcast topics include Standard Assessment Tools, Enhancing Comfort and Managing Symptoms, Psychosocial Issues, Grief, Dementia and Bereavement.


Experience the warm educational style of teaching in these instructional videos to enhance classroom learning with videos from leaders in hospice palliative care, develop student’s understanding of these hospice palliative care concepts and issues, prepare students for projects and study guide activities and develop a deeper understanding of the experiences of dying.

PowerPoint™ Teaching Presentations

We understand that life as an Instructor is busy. We created these Powerpoints™ teaching presentations to give you a jumpstart on teaching with the text. The Powerpoints™ teaching presentations follow the text chapters, using the text colours and rich illustrations to enhance learning.

Instructors Guides

This Instructor’s Guide is the roadmap for teaching with the new Integrating a Palliative Approach: Essentials for Personal Support Workers (Canada) and Essentials in Hospice and Palliative Care: A Resource for Nursing Assistants (USA) material. It integrates the companion hospice palliative care resources into easily taught sections, based on the chapters of the text. Divided into seven chapters, each chapter links the Canadian Educational Standards and the Ontario Personal Support Worker Program Standard: Vocational Learning Outcomes to the content in the text and the workbook. Teaching resources, ideas for preparation and lessons plans are outlined.


To request a review copy, or to find out how you can incorporate these resources into your existing training program, please contact us.