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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

End-of-Life Issues: Death, Dying, and Grief

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the psychological, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of death and dying for older adults.
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What is grief? What are normal grief responses? What is involved in the final life transition - death? The dying experience is a profound, individual experience. The experience of loss and grief are as individual and unique as the persons involved. During this time, people often raise questions about the meaning of life. The role of culture, palliative and hospice care, advance directives, the role of spirituality in death and dying, healing strategies and rituals are all important aspects of effective end-of-life care.

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

  • Explain the spiritual, psychological, social, and physical aspects of the process of dying.
  • Discuss the needs of caregivers and the needs of individuals at the end of life.
  • List interactions and healing strategies for the dying.
  • Describe the use of the senses in rituals used at the end of life.
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of dying at home.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of imminent death.
  • Describe the grieving process.
  • Identify psychological responses, physical symptoms, social changes, and spiritual aspects of normal grief responses.
  • Explain grief and the healing process.
  • Describe cultural differences in response to death and grief.

“Do individuals become more religious as they die? This question has often been debated among academics who study death. Such debate avoids the central issue that the dying process raises profound spiritual concerns of meaning and connection for individuals. Whether those who are dying reconnect, review, or renew prior religious beliefs (or are even open to new religious experiences) they are likely to engage in some form of spiritual searching” (Doka, 2013).

Each dying person and each of his or her family members may cope with the dying process in a different way. Past losses, educational level, spiritual beliefs, and the individual’s philosophy may all affect how he or she reacts to the dying process. To die peacefully and to die knowing that life has had meaning are important to the dying person. The goal at the end of life is a healthy death, which is defined as a death that has positive benefits for the dying person and for his or her family, caregivers, and friends (Dossey & Keegan, 2013).

Health care professionals can assist individuals at the end of life and their families by providing compassionate care that incorporates the physiological, psychosocial, and spiritual considerations that are most relevant to the dying person and his or her family. By providing guidance and support, health care professionals can guide their dying patients and their family members through this final life transition.

Loss, and the grief that often accompanies that loss, is a normal part of the human experience. A healthy response to loss is the goal. That healthy response, and the healing process, is only achieved when individuals give attention to, and achieve a balance between their physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs.


Dying individuals are usually the best qualified to help others understand what is best for them in this process. It is important for dying individuals to communicate their needs related to the place of their death, pain management concerns, the specific roles of health care providers during the dying process, the type and level of involvement of family members throughout the process, specific funeral arrangements required, and important rituals requested during the process. None of these is as important, however, as the care, trust, compassion, acceptance, and love that are provided and shared in the dying process (Dossey & Keegan, 2013). It is important to listen to the dying person's needs and not impose one's own fears, beliefs, or biases on that person (Doka, 2013).

The nature of dying and the dying process include spiritual, psychological, social, and physical aspects common to both dying individuals and their families. Although these aspects are discussed individually, each aspect rarely occurs without impacting the others (Kuebler, Heidrich, & Esper, 2006; Meiner & Lueckenotte, 2006).

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 Behavioral Sciences
  • 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
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

May 30, 2019

  • 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.