In the current healthcare workforce, there exists a lack of comfort and knowledge about providing end-of-life (EOL) care that will only continue to worsen without prompt changes to the delivery of education (Jablonski et al., 2020). The lack of knowledge and comfort expressed in providing EOL care leads to a nurse’s moral and physical difficulty when a patient chooses palliative care or hospice. This is a detriment to patients and should be a consideration for schools of nursing when developing curriculum and clinical activities. By promoting changes in curriculum and the addition of an EOL simulation at the undergraduate level, students who enter practice will have an idea of how to provide EOL care before a real patient encounter. This benchmark paper provides a summary of the evidence for the addition of an EOL simulation and education for undergraduate nursing students in their program of study, the plan for implementation, and the benefits this can have on practice.
Specific EOL simulation and education materials such as the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Undergraduate modules can be used to meet the curriculum and real-life knowledge needs to safely care for patients. In addition to improved patient outcomes, hospitals can save resources on spending by utilizing hospice with an estimated $3,000 saved on healthcare costs in the last three days of life and almost $12,000 when hospice is used in the last month (Aldridge et al., 2022). These cost-savings combined with improved education justify the need for this project’s implementation. The overview of the simulation includes the completion of palliative education materials, a pre-brief session, simulation, and debriefing session. The Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of Dying Scale (FATCOD) is the primary tool used to evaluate the students at pre-simulation and post-simulation and has been validated previously in both nurses and nursing students. If feasible, the proposed change is for the completion of a high-fidelity EOL simulation by nursing students to help increase attitudes towards caring for the dying, knowledge, skill-performance, and express feelings. Overall, the addition of an EOL simulation and education for undergraduate nursing students will be one of the first steps to providing better patient outcomes at EOL and should be considered to prepare nursing students for such situations.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Masters in Nursing Education
Farris, Lucas, "End-of-Life Simulation Education" (2022). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 209.