At Good Samaritan Hospice, we believe that education and partnership with our community is essential to the success of our services. For this reason, we offer a number of facilitated programs and in-services on a variety of topics relevant to your organization, practice or facility. These special programs are offered free of charge to:

  • Nursing facilities
  • Assisted living communities
  • Churches, synagogues, houses of worship and faith groups
  • Civic and professional organizations
  • Hospitals and medical clinics

Listed below are several potential topics, but Good Sam will work with groups/organizations to identify specific needs and tailor presentations accordingly.  Give us a call to schedule.

General Topics

  • Hospice 101
    A brief overview of what hospice is, who is eligible for hospice services, how to find the right hospice, who pays for services and much more.
  • Is It Time to Call Hospice?
     What are the indicators that would prompt a hospice referral?  This is an overview of the Medicare qualifications for hospice care and how to use the MMRI-R, a unqiue tool to help make the decision more objectively.
  • Having the Conversation about What Matters Most
     In this age of modern medicine and longer life spans, it has been said that death has become more of a journey than an event.  How can we better understand and make the choices and decisions facing us when an illness is incurable?  How do we sort through the minutia of daily living and explore “what matters most?”  This exercise is designed to provide perspective and interpersonal challenge, as well as provide guidance for making known end-of-life wishes.
  • Having the Conversation with Your Healthcare Practioner
     This is a common-sense approach to getting the most from your healthcare visit in this day of 7-minute appointments.  Discusses the importance of record-keeping and asking questions and provides helpful tools such as appointment and medication logs.
  • An Exercise in Letting Go
     This exercise in compassion walks participants through what it would be like to deal with a terminal illness, the losses that are incurred and the challenges (and blessings) that accompany such a diagnosis.
  • Advanced Care Planning
     This workshop uses the state Advance Directives and the Five Wishes Advance Directives to explore decisions about healthcare planning.  Participants are guided through materials designed to help make their own choices about end-of-life care.
  • That First Call
     The decision to call hospice is never an easy one, certainly not emotionally.  However, the process of making a referral is a simple one.  This talk will take a look at the progression from referral to admission and the ease in which Good Sam makes it for a family member, caregiver or referral source.
  • Care for the Caregiver
     The demands of care giving make it easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated, and they often take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.  How to link to community resources, find help in care planning and seek support with caregiver stress are explored in this application-oriented talk.  Helps caregivers learn and use tools to reduce the personal toll of caring for those with illness.
  • Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment
     The movement toward better defining patient preferences for more common end-stage treatements, including DNR, artificial hydration and nutrition, and levels of medical intervention has grown in this country and the POST process is now being used in many healthcare settings in Virginia. Join in a discussion about POST and what it has to offer residents, families and healthcare providers.
  • We Honor Our Veterans
     Good Sam strives to recognize and honor our country’s veterans in a variety of ways, including special recognition services and educational programs.  Call us for a speciality program for your site.

Nursing Topics

  • As Death Nears: What to Expect and How to Respond
    Explores the physical/emotional changes that we usually see as death draws near, as well as helpful responses to those changes.
  • Consideration of End-of-Life Issues
    Discusses the broader pros and cons of IV, tube feedings and aggressive treatments in the final stages of illness and decline.
  • Pain and Symptom Management/Assessment Skills
    An in-depth look at the importance of a good pain and symptom assessment, what it should consist of and what can be used to manage symptoms, e.g. shortness of breath, anxiety and constipation.
  • Why Are You Giving the Patient THAT?!?
     This talk provides information on the use of narcotics in end-of-life care.  Benefits and risks of such medication use will be explored, including a look at the more common mythis surround the use of medications frequently used in palliative care.
  • Infection Control
    Controlling the spread of infection is critical with immuno-comprised patients.  This talk provides recommendations for infection control with regard to the care of dying people and considers the psychological effects of typical procedures, including wearing gloves and isolation practices.
  • The Link Between Vital Signs and Patient Decline
     This talk addresses what vital signs are taken during hospice care and why they are important, as well as how to interpret them and respond to changes in patients’ vital signs as they decline.
  • Feeding Care Near the End-of-Life
    In most societies, feeding and caring are linked.  They indicate normal responses of love, respect and comfort.  What choices are there when the ability to swallow is impaired or impossible?

Team Support

  • Compassion Fatigue
    Designed for personal and professional caregivers, this workshop looks at the external and internal contributors to fatigue and burnout. Participants are encouraged to revisualize their goals as caregivers and identify the “hooks” that make them feel ineffective. Suggestions for restoring balance and re-energizing are explored.
  • The Family Dance:  Learning New Steps for Challenging Relationships 
    Encourages team members to think about stressful relationships in more creative, flexible ways that get us “unstuck” and promote better trust.  Helpful for working with individuals or families (or even fellow team members) we may find challenging or exhausting.

Psycho-Social Topics

  • Old Age Ain’t For Sissies
    A fresh and engaging talk on getting older: the downside and the upside of biological, emotional and spiritual changes so common to aging. Helps participants to distinguish between grief and depression and grow more aware of effective ways to cope with life stressors.
  • What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted? Healing From Grief and Loss
    Involves participants in creative ways to assess and heal from the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual impact of grief in both our personal and professional lives. Discussion also contrasts factors that shrink the coping range with those that tend to expand our ability to cope.
  • Living with Loss
     Loss is a universal experience and this presentation offers a deeper understanding of the dynamics of grief and how we heal and grow.  Included is an overview of the different types of grief, how grief may affect our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health, pathways to healing and ways to remember with less pain.
  • Hope & Hot Chocolate
     Helps those suffering from the loss of a loved one better cope with the demands of the holiday season.
  • Ways to Help Grieving Children and Teens
    Provides insight into helping children and teenagers understand and express their grief.  Honest, open and loving approaches are discussed and tailored to the different stages of child development.
  • Anticipatory Grief
    Looks at the journey of those diagnosed with a terminal illness – the reframed futures, the remembered pasts, and the relating to the present.  Addresses how these patients’ quality of life is impacted by the ways they choose to spend the time they have left and by others’ willingness to honor their choices.

Spiritual Care Topics

  • Spirituality and Health
    The purpose of this talk is to offer a broader understanding of spirituality and its importance to healthcare professionals in caring for the whole person.
  • Ministering to Persons in Times of Loss
    This program provides a framework for understanding loss and grief and offers practical insights for walking alongside those who are experiencing loss of any kind.

 Hospital and Facility Topics

  • Before You Call 9-1-1:  Alternatives to the Emergency Department
    This talk helps both professional and family caregivers think about when it is appropriate to pursue comfort care versus aggressive care for elderly and/or frail patients.  This subject has taken on increasing importance as hospitals face scrutiny for readmissions.  Keeping patient comfort and individualized care in the foreground is emphasized.
  • Bridging the Gap from Hospital to Home
    Provides tools to recognize hospice appropriateness from an acute care standpoint and explains ways in which hospice may help prevent readmissions to the hospital.  Also discusses studies that show how hospice can positively impact readmission/mortality rates for hospitals.
  • The Hospice Team in Facilities
     Explores the partnership between hospice and facility staff to develop a comprehensive plan of care that will allow terminally ill patients to be given the best possible care and comfort measures.  Special attention is given to the role of the Hospice Aide.