‘We want to preserve your dignity': Creighton charts way in palliative care education
The students had to approach the situation delicately.
Their patient was opposed to hospice, but as an elderly woman newly diagnosed with heart failure, she would likely require extensive medical care moving forward.
For Frannie Eisenhauer, a senior undergraduate from Beverly Shores, Indiana, studying social work at Creighton University, the task ahead boiled down to a single goal: Directing the conversation. “We’re saying that (going home) probably isn’t the safest option right now. Our goal is to keep you safe and as independent as we can. We want to preserve your dignity, and also take care of you.”
The exchange, a video conference between the patient and her health care team, was a simulated exercise in Creighton’s IPE 515 course, Interprofessional Palliative Care. In the cross-disciplinary course, students from various academic backgrounds — medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work and more — engage in live-action scenarios, working in teams to make treatment decisions for patients played by actors.