Permanent Part-Time (0.6 FTE)
The palliative care program acknowledges that advanced illness and death are significant events in people’s lives for which psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement supports are necessary. In some situations, due to complex family dynamics, mental illness and other circumstances related to family cohesion, decision-making and/or loss of meaning and hope, these supports are best delivered by skilled professionals who are sensitive to personal, cultural and spiritual/religious beliefs, values and practices.
The Psychosocial, Spiritual, Bereavement Clinician is concerned with the psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of the persons who are dying, their partners and their families, as they deal with issues of self-esteem, adaptation to the illness and its consequences, social functioning and relationships, communication, grieving and spiritual suffering. Often, there is also a need for support with the necessary practical aspects of end-of-life decision making. The Psychosocial, Spiritual, Bereavement Clinician can provide a wide range of interventions including individual, couple and family counseling, advocacy, education, access to community supports, and spiritual companioning. The Psychosocial, Spiritual, Bereavement clinician will provide bereavement support and care for family caregivers whose loved one has died.
The Palliative Care Team recognizes that faith based support is important element of whole person care in palliation. Sometimes, the dying person and/or their loved ones have their needs, questions or concerns of a religious nature. These might include the need for religious rituals and practices including prayer and sacraments. Or, they may feel a need to reconnect with a faith community or find a new one. In such situations, the Community Faith Partner can provide the necessary skills.
The Palliative Care Team works within a shared care model with family physicians, community nursing agencies, hospital and hospice staff and community volunteers, providing that shared expertise and resources make for a more effective and efficient workforce.
This mutually beneficial partnership best serves patients and their loved ones, meeting their needs in a timely fashion, enhancing communication between all sectors of care and the patient and loved ones, broadening and strengthening the knowledge base of all involved and reducing costs.
It is within this model of shared care, and as a vital part of the Palliative Care Team, that the Psychosocial, Spiritual, Bereavement Clinician is able to meet the needs of patients and their loved ones.
Core Duties - Responsibilities
Receives referrals from either the front line primary care team providing palliative care, or from colleagues on the consult team
Assists patients, partners and families with a wide range of psychological, social and practical services to help meet individual and/or familial psychological and emotional needs, financial, legal, healthcare and funeral planning, and advocacy issues
Assists patients, partners and families with spiritual issues such as existential questions about meaning and purpose, belief or religious crisis, legacy work and culturally based needs that pertain to dying and death
Meets with patients, partners and families in a setting that is most appropriate i.e. home, office, other
Support the therapeutic benefits of assisting the bereaved to reframe their story of their loss through storytelling and reminiscing
Provide education as it relates to the grieving process and bereavement support; explain the process of normal grief and the multidimensional aspects and domains of grief (emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioural, social and spiritual)
Encourage both loss orientation and restoration orientation through grief work hypothesis strategies
Encourage the bereaved to utilize their own coping skills and resources in order to work through their grief
Identify the need for further in-depth counseling and arrange the appropriate referrals.
Assists with the planning, development and implementation of memorial services and/or services of remembrance in partnership with key stakeholders
Acts as an ad hoc resource and support for the primary care team and the consult team with their own self-care and needs, as hospice palliative care providers
Adheres to all standards, practices, policies and procedures regarding privacy and confidentiality of information, documentation and ethical practice as set forth by employer
Promotes patient safety in alignment with the Vision, Mission, Values and Strategic Directions of the LHIN
Works within the basic principles of patient safety by doing the right thing for the right patient, using the right method at the right time
Adheres to LHIN’s patient safety policies and procedures
Links to faith based or religious communities of practice
Conducts a multi-systemic inter-generational assessment of families in their home, work and play environments over the trajectory of the pre-mortem time frame, with attention to multiple variables such as age, gender, cultural and spiritual/religious considerations
Provides individual, partner, family and group psycho-education to persons who are dying and their emotionally significant others, so that all involved are as fully informed as s/he chooses to be about the ensuing course of events. Insures that the family participates in consensus building and care delivery, as is appropriate
Provides individual, partner, family and group support therapies, or partners and completes referrals, as is necessary and required
Completes bereavement risk assessments
Identifies work stressors on the teams, as well as those stressors present on cases or in the work environment in order to collaborate with the consult team on the development of coping strategies through education, debriefing, processing, self-care and workload management
Consults and collaborates with inter-professional team members, providing education, mentorship, as well as asking for the same when needed
Provides effective documentation and ongoing statistics
Provides an academic placement for post-secondary student who may want to complete a psycho-social-spiritual internship with the team
Provides on-going hospice palliative care education, as required, to various organizations and in the community, in order to support the psychosocial spiritual care of persons who are dying, their partners and families and to enhance the relations between the shared care team and the community
Participates with community colleges and universities in the development of hospice palliative care inter-professional educational programming
Participates at rounds, conferences and other educational forums as appropriate and as required
Participates in research initiatives related to hospice palliative care
Minimum Master’s Degree in one of the following disciplines: Social Work, Educational or Counseling Psychology, Nursing, Divinity and Spirituality, Theology or other academic preparation as assessed by hiring team
Current registration with applicable college
Minimum of 3-5 years of related experience with expert knowledge in hospice palliative care; end of life care; oncology with supervision experience of clinical practice. Ideally, candidate also has experience across health care settings
Training in counseling through CAPE or equivalent counseling and supervision program
Training in spiritual care, companioning and grief and bereavement studies through a recognized academic body
Evidence of continuing professional development
Skills & Abilities
Strong communication skills with expertise in intra and interprofessional communication strategies
Proven leadership abilities with effective skills in verbal and written communication, problem solving and team building
Strong consultation skills with expert knowledge of models of consultation and their application with individuals, teams and with community service providers
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, problem solving and decision making skills
Research/and or program evaluation experience with knowledge of evidence based processes including appraisal of research, application of findings and collaboration on research projects
Demonstrates compassion, empathy and integrity