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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Spiritual Care of the Dying

2.1 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course for the learner to describe healing strategies that can assist health care providers in the spiritual care of the dying. Spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of dying will be explored.
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The dying experience is unique for each individual. For many individuals, death is not an end to life. It is simply a passage to another dimension, sometimes called heaven, the spiritual world, another plane of existence, or nirvana. As knowledge of issues involved in death and dying increases and positive attitudes are promoted, the spiritual care and support for people who are dying will improve. There are many spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural healing strategies that can assist health care providers in the compassionate spiritual care of the dying.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the spiritual, psychological, and social dimensions of dying.
  • Examine cultural considerations at the end of life.
  • List some interactions, care giving strategies, and healing strategies that can assist healthcare providers in the spiritual care of the dying.
  • Describe the use of the senses in rituals for the dying.
  • Identify and describe aspects of hospice and palliative care.
  • List advantages and disadvantages of dying at home.

What happens during death, that final life transition? With the knowledge of impending death, spiritual and religious beliefs play an essential role for individuals in making sense out of life. However, most people have done little to psychologically, spiritually, or socially prepare for death.

Spiritual issues may not surface until individuals are faced with mortality. At that point, they often search for meaning in their own death or in the death of a loved one. Bereaved people may ponder the existential issues of life, not only with regard to the loss of a loved one but for themselves as well. During this life transition, a person’s most deeply held beliefs are challenged and opportunities for growth are experienced. To die peacefully and to die with the knowledge that life has had meaning is important to the dying person (Kuebler, Berry, & Heidrich, 2002; Marchand, 2007; Olson & Keegan, 2013).

In the past, health care has typically avoided the topic of spiritual care at the end of life and left clients to their own private beliefs and practices. However, as the interest in, and importance of, spirituality grows, care at the end of life is emerging as an essential dimension of integrative and holistic health care.

Spiritual care is the responsibility of all individuals involved in caring for the dying person. Spiritual care at the end of life means acknowledging and supporting the beliefs of the dying so that during the dying process, their needs are met (Cancer Research, 2016; O’Gorman, 2002).

Spiritual care of the dying considers and acknowledges the relationships of a person’s life—relationships with the Ultimate, the self, and others. Spiritual care at the end of life provides an opportunity for the dying person to reflect on his or her successes, failures, hopes, fears, and sorrows. A framework for treatment decisions can be based on an understanding of the person’s goals, values, and wishes, taking into account spiritual and religious as well as cultural beliefs (O’Gorman, 2002).

At the end of life, people usually go through a process of integration, an attempt to put the pieces of their life together in a pattern consistent with the whole of their life. This can include honoring significant relationships and commitments, exploring questions of meaning and purpose in life, engaging in relevant rituals, and making plans consistent with their values.

Integration also involves the grieving and mourning of multiple losses associated with the ending of life. Spiritual integration is a healing process that provides closure and a sense of dignity as well as addressing unfinished business and mending broken relationships (O’Gorman, 2002).

Healthcare professionals can assist dying individuals and their families by incorporating the physiological, psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural aspects of dying into the care they provide and acting as guides to help the dying person and family members through this final life transition.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

May 17, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.