The University of Southampton

NPAD3003 Palliative and End of Life Care

Module Overview

Palliative and End of Life Care are core skills for any nurse, from intensive care units and emergency departments to long stay places of care and community settings. Death is an inevitable part of life, and is not seen as a failure if the right care is provided at the right time, but there is only one chance to get it right. This module has aims and outcomes that will shape your learning in this area of care, encouraging you to consider your role in caring for and supporting people with palliative and end of life care needs.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this unit is to enable you to develop an understanding and knowledge of key concepts within palliative and end of life care and to assist you to meet patient and relatives’ needs sensitively and effectively using current best practice.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Reflect on the nursing and contribution of nursing to palliative and end of life care.
  • Evaluate the evidence base influencing the nursing care of the person receiving palliative care and those at the end of life
  • Insightfully discuss your understanding of the importance of meeting psychosocial and spiritual needs into care planning and delivery for clients and their carers/families.
  • Critically discuss the philosophical, ethical, legal and professional influences on the delivery of nursing care during palliative and end of life


• Palliative and end of life care philosophy • The individual nearing the end of life and those surrounding them • Communication • Holistic assessment • Symptom recognition, impact and management • Patterns of symptoms in relation to particular disease/illness • Loss, grief and bereavement • Death and dying at different stages of life including the young adult and older person • Last Offices • Choice at end of life • Policy drivers • End of Life Care tools including Advance care planning • The role of the nurse in palliative and end of life care • Ethical, professional and legal considerations related to end of life and palliative care • Promoting self-care and management • Multidisciplinary team working in palliative and end of life care. • Spirituality • Psychological support required by the patient, those close to them and the care team • End of life care and dying in a variety of settings including hospice, hospital and home settings • Unexpected death • Organ donation • Illness trajectories and journeys • Working with charitable and third sector agencies to support people and their families • Therapeutic use of self • Caring values and beliefs

Special Features

The module pays careful attention to the changing landscape of palliative and end of life care. The module team is constituted from a dynamic group of clinicians, educators and researchers, many of whom are internationally renowned, and most of whom are influential in shaping current policy and practice.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Lectures • Group work and discussion • Technology enhanced learning • Guided reading • Values based learning groups

Independent Study145.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Department of Health (2008). End of Life Care Strategy – promoting high quality care for all adults at end of life. 

Gunaratnam, Y. and Oliviere, D (2009). Narrative and Stories in Health Care; illness, dying and bereavement. 

Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People (2014). One chance to get it right: Improving people’s experience of care in the last few days and hours of life. 

Hanks, G., Cherny, N.I., Christakis, N.A., Fallon, M., Kaasa, S. and Portenoy, R.K (2010). Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 

Randall, F. and Downie, R.S (2010). End of Life Choices; concensus and controversy. 

Ellershaw, J and Wilkinson, S (2003). Care of the Dying: A pathway to excellence. 

Payne, S., Seymore, J, and Ingleton, C. (eds) (2008). Palliative Care Nursing: Principles and evidence for practice. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Professional conversation  (15 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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