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Advance Directives: Terminology, Elements, and the Role of the Clinician

presented by Cathleen Armato, RN, CHC, CHPC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Cathleen Armato is a share holder with Armato & Associates, LLC. Cathleen Armato receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.
Non-Financial: Cathleen Armato has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 50 Minutes


Written advance directives are an opportunity for an individual to communicate their wishes and preferences for care at the end-of-life. Without these documents, it may be left to family or friends to make decisions that they "think" the person would have wanted. This can be challenging for many reasons, not the least of which can be conflicting opinions among loved ones. This course takes a deeper look at the complex terminology, long history, and forced evolution of advance directives. Significant court cases will be reviewed for their impact on decision-making at the end-of-life. Information will be provided regarding how to choose a health care surrogate, what to include in a living will, and what to do when directives are completed.

Meet Your Instructor

Cathleen Armato, RN, CHC, CHPC

Cat Armato is an experienced executive with 18 years in the home care and hospice industry. She has served in various roles during that time, including VP of operations and chief compliance officer for a nationwide provider. In 2012, Cat became a consultant. She has assisted multiple organizations with their compliance and quality efforts, from…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Definitions

Terminology in advance care planning and advance directives can be complex and often confusing. Terms that sound alike may have different meanings and there may be several terms that mean the same thing. This course reviews common terms to help the health care provider explain these to patients and their families.

2. The History of Advance Directives

It has taken a long time to get to where we are today. This chapter will review the history and evolution of advance directives and advance care planning. Additionally, significant court cases that have impacted advance care planning will be reviewed.

3. Assisting Patients and Families With Advance Care Planning

From “beginning the conversation” to “what to do with completed documents,” this chapter reviews the important process of assisting patients with their advance care planning. Qualifications for a health care proxy will be reviewed and the options available for inclusion in living wills will be discussed.

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