Competencies of the PCHAC Chaplain

The applicant for Palliative Care & Hospice Advanced Certification shall demonstrate mastery of 14 professional competencies, both experientially in the applicant’s practice and in the knowledgeable application of the palliative care/hospice literature. The demonstration of competencies should reflect the advanced and specialized work required for palliative care/hospice, beyond the skills and knowledges of the Board Certified Chaplain.  The committee will be looking for advanced practice and the special sensitivities, behaviors, and unique concerns of the palliative care/hospice chaplain. While it is understood that an applicant may be more experienced in a particular setting, such as home hospice or hospital-based palliative care, it is expected that the applicant for BCC-PCHAC will demonstrate mastery across the continuum of palliative care/hospice.

  1. Integrate the history of the hospice movement and the subsequent expansion of palliative care, while differentiating between the current philosophy and goals of palliative care and hospice in practice.
  2. Familiarity with state and federal laws regarding Advance Directives and other end- of-life practices.
  3. Demonstrate an integrated knowledge of implications of medical treatment for life-threatening or life-limiting illness as it impacts a patient’s physical, psycho-social, emotional, and spiritual pain.
  4. Demonstrate utilization of family systems theory incorporated in the practice of palliative care and hospice as applied to care recipients, families and health care providers.
  5. Apply culturally appropriate, evidence-informed strategies for addressing the breadth and depth of multifaceted grief including complicated and anticipatory grief to extend to bereavement resources.
  6. Incorporate a working knowledge and integration of psycho-social, emotional and spiritual perspectives to function as a communication and emotional expert in the practice of palliative and hospice care.
  7. Demonstrate effective communication and facilitation of goals of care family meetings that align treatment plans with patient’s values and/or advanced care plans.
  8. Demonstrate collaborative and facilitative leadership with care recipients, family, teams, and organizations.
  9. Demonstrate best practices in palliative care and hospice spiritual assessment and documentation to facilitate aligning patient values and goals with the treatment plan.
  10. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the difference in the provision of advanced practice chaplaincy care as care recipients and families negotiate through the trajectory of a life-threatening illness in various settings.
  11. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in addressing ethical dilemmas at end of life and concerns as related to spiritual and/or religious issues.
  12. Demonstrate and model the ability to attend to the physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of the transdisciplinary team.
  13. Demonstrates the ability to teach and educate through articulating and integrating current research of best practices for the provision of palliative care and hospice chaplaincy care.
  14. Participate in quality improvement projects and/or research to increase standard of palliative care and hospice care provided.