OPTIMISTIC encompasses the importance of giving above-average advance care and end-of-life care. OPTIMISTIC facilities implement their respective state’s POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) form as part of the palliative care planning. Staff members are trained Respecting Choices® POST facilitators who engage in advance care planning conversations with patients and families according to certain standards.
Staff members also participate in a train-the-trainer educational program known as the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)-Geriatric curriculum, in order to be more informed on how to improve palliative care in the long-term care setting. The ELNEC-Geriatric curriculum focuses on pain and symptom management, cultural considerations, ethical and legal issues, communication, grief, loss, bereavement, and preparation and care at the time of death. In this way, OPTIMISTIC RNs, NPs, and clinical staff are better prepared when giving advance palliative care and end-of-life care to LTC facility patients so that hospital stays become unnecessary.