EES Game-Based Learning providing Goals of Care Conversation training - Employee Education System
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EES Game-Based Learning providing Goals of Care Conversation training


VA game based learning screen captureThe VHA Employee Education System’s (EES) Game-Based Learning has developed an educational module called Goals of Care Conversation Simulation to help ensure that VA health care teams are adequately trained to conduct goals-of-care conversations with high-risk patients. This accredited training is designed for staff like VHA physicians, advance practice nurses, physician assistants, social workers, nurses, psychologists and chaplains.

Many staff members who care for patients with a serious illness have not had formal training in how to discuss goals-of-care and life-sustainment treatment decisions with patients or family members. This module addresses this training need by providing the participants with safe, vivid, real world, meaningful opportunities to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in the most effective and efficient means possible with minimal fear of failure.

Conducting goals of care conversations requires high-level communication skills to establish a trusting relationship between practitioner and patient and to ensure that the practitioner responds appropriately to the emotions often experienced by patients who have received serious news.

The content of this module allows participants to practice goals-of-care conversations with two virtual patients with the guidance of a mentor who provides immediate feedback about the participant’s communication choices. The module teaches participants how to efficiently maneuver through the discussion, eliciting the patient’s goals of care, and then making shared decisions about a life-sustaining treatment plan that is aligned with the patient’s priorities. At the conclusion of each virtual conversation, participants receive step-by-step feedback about their performance, including commentary about the skills they have demonstrated and the skills they should continue to work on.

By Gerald Sonnenberg
EES Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist