The global COVID-19 pandemic has heightened our awareness of the myriad moral and ethical dilemmas facing healthcare workers, from home health aides to hospice caregivers. According to certified hospice and palliative care nurse, Lores Vlaminck, MA, BSN, RN, CHPN, issues include balancing professional obligation with fear of exposure, working with limited or inadequate PPE, and prioritizing one client over another—all without compromising the virtues of compassion and empathy.
With the advent of the vaccine, administrators at assisted living, long-term care, memory care, and hospice care facilities are grappling with additional ethical and moral questions. “For example, a client recently asked if they have the right to ask a caregiver whether they’ve been vaccinated—and can they refuse care if the answer is ‘no’?” said Lores. “We’re also trying to navigate issues around personal beliefs and, in some cases, mistrust of the vaccine—should caregivers be granted exemption upon request, even if it puts clients at risk? This is new territory for us.”
A chance to reflect
While there are no easy answers, Lores will address many of these issues at an Ethics CEU webinar, ‘Ethical Issues Amid a Pandemic’ sponsored by Lifespark Hospice, on February 24th. She’ll also provide tools for participants to take back to their clinics, practices, and facilities to help them work through these issues.
Lifespark Hospice Administrator Jennifer Blazek, RN, BSN, PHN, hopes the webinar will also be therapeutic for attendees. “We’ve been in crisis mode for so long, but now it’s time to take a step back, pause, and reflect on what’s gone well, what hasn’t, and what we’ve been through,” said Jen, adding that the pandemic has been a traumatic experience for many healthcare workers. “In hospice, we’re used to death and dying—it’s our passion, our calling—but since COVID, caregivers at assisted living and memory care facilities have faced significant death counts, and that’s hard to process.”
One of the reasons Lifespark Hospice looked to Lores for this webinar is her approach which is clinical and science-based and, at the same time, incredibly human and affirming. “Lores has seen nearly everything in her 40+ years in healthcare, and she’s able to bring it altogether from a big picture perspective in a way that’s calming, centering, and future-focused,” added Jen.
For Jen, the webinar is much more than a chance to earn an Ethics CEU. “Sharing Lores with our partners and creating a space to reflect and debrief is a gift for all of us.”
Register for the webinar (1.0 CEU)
Join Lifespark Hospice on February 24, 2021, from Noon to 1:00 PM CST for this timely and thought-provoking discussion.
As a participant, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of:
- Ethical principles applicable to healthcare providers during a pandemic
- Disaster ethics and their inherent ambiguity
- The clinician’s role in ethical decision-making
- Discussion tools to take back to your clinic or practice
The webinar is free but registration is required.
Date: Wednesday. February 24, 2021
Time: 12:00 PM–1:00 PM CST
Additional resources for your clients
For information about hospice care and advance care planning, we invite you to explore Lifespark’s client-friendly resources and educational materials:
- eBook: “How Do I Talk to My Loved One About Hospice?”
- eBook: “Which Hospice Should We Choose?”
- eBook: “Creating Your Advance Directive”
- Blog: Advance Directives – The COVID Factor
About the presenter, Lores Vlaminck, MA, BSN, RN, CHPN,
Lores Vlaminck draws on more than 40 years of nursing experience to empower client providers to utilize their skills and expertise to reach their greatest potential. Her extensive nursing background includes clinical practice in cardiac and intensive care and outpatient clinic services, as well as serving as a home care and hospice administrator/director for 19 years in greater Minnesota. In addition to being a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, Lores is also a trainer for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), curriculum that encompasses palliative and hospice care. In 2004, Lores founded Lores Consulting, LLC, a leading provider of consulting, training, and mentoring for hospice, assisted living, home care, and related health care providers. In 2010, Lores was named Geriatric ELNEC Educator of the Year.