Pharmacists are integral members of the multi-disciplinary team delivering palliative care to those facing life-threatening illness, including at the end of life. As more patients wish to remain at home for the end of life, pharmacists are increasingly called upon to contribute expertise in palliative care pharmacy outside of institutional settings.
Developed in partnership between Victoria Hospice and Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria, and newly revised for 2023, the online Palliative Care Pharmacy micro-credential program enables pharmacists to acquire the specialized knowledge to support palliative care patients, family, health and community care nurses, and general practitioners. Topics covered include: the pharmacist’s role in a palliative care team; principles of pain management; use of opioids in palliative care; symptom management; deprescribing; drug-related adverse effects; and cancer-associated thrombosis.
Expect to spend four to six hours per week in this program. Upon successful completion participants earn a micro-certificate.
- Flexible online learning: asynchronous format allows learners to continue working while studying
- Learn from instructors who are experienced palliative care pharmacists
- Opportunity to apply theory into practice with discussions and activities that cover principles of palliative care pharmacy as well as specific assessment and prescribing skills
Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:
- Explain what palliative care is and the pharmacist's role in the team approach
- Demonstrate an understanding of the various components of a thorough pain history and the general principles of pain management.
- Demonstrate knowledge of opioid use/conversions including fentanyl transdermal patches and methadone for pain in the palliative context.
- Apply evidence-based management of commonly encountered symptoms
- Identify and be able to advise on drug related adverse effects
- Be able to discuss the role of cannabis in palliative care
- Distinguish between medications that are non-essential and those continuing to provide symptomatic benefit at the end of life