POLST: It Starts With A Conversation

Prepare your team for having the POLST conversation

POLST: It Starts with a Conversation is a two-day program designed to help healthcare providers and organizations develop the skills necessary to have quality POLST conversations. Using the standardized California POLST curriculum, and presented in a train-the-trainer format, the program guides participants through the POLST form and uses role-playing exercises to model the complex scenarios that arise during end-of-life care discussions.

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • List the differences between an Advance Health Care Directive and the POLST form
  • Differentiate between POLST and Do Not Resuscitate forms (DNRs)
  • Understand the POLST form and identify the target population for POLST
  • Facilitate POLST conversations with a patient or surrogate, and document the patient’s treatment wishes on a POLST form
  • Facilitate group or community presentations on POLST
  • Describe the purpose of the National POLST Paradigm

Holding quality conversations about care at the end of life can be difficult for anyone, and this is especially true for healthcare providers who need to talk with seriously ill patients and their loved ones about treatment options near the end of life.

When a POLST is completed and signed without first having a quality conversation, it may not fully reflect the wishes of the patient, and could later lead to unwanted treatment and confusion on the part of a surrogate decision maker or loved ones.

In addition to learning the specifics of the California POLST, this training spends a great deal of time role playing quality conversations about treatment options at end of life.

POLST: It Starts with a Conversation is relevant education for POLST-like programs throughout the United States, and we welcome attendees from outside of California.

The California standardized POLST curriculum was developed by the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, the home for POLST in California.

Partnership HealthPlan of CaliforniaThank you to Partnership HealthPlan of California for sponsoring the CME credits for this training.


POLST California




Check back soon for upcoming POLST training announcements.

POLST for Pediatrics

Pediatric palliative care advocacy and educationConversations about end-of-life care are never easy, especially when the care concerns a seriously ill child.

The Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC), together with the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, developed a curriculum that teaches clinicians how to have sensitive, meaningful end-of-life care discussions with parents about their child.

Released in 2012, the curriculum guides doctors, nurses, and other providers in using a POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form to record parents’ wishes for their child’s care in the final days of life.

No trainings are planned at this time.

Subscribe to our email list(s), or contact us to get updates on POLST for Pediatrics.

Working with POLST for Professionals

CSU Institute for Palliative CareCSU Institute for Palliative Care

This 2-hour online self-paced course is designed to help the healthcare professional understand the role and value of the POLST form, and how to employ it in documenting and honoring patient wishes.

This course provides specific details regarding POLST in California. The POLST form may help reduce some of that confusion when an Advance HealthCare Directive (AHCD) may not be accessible, wishes may not be clearly defined in the AHCD, or the AHCD is not a physician order.

This course was developed in collaboration with the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.

24/7 Online Training

Course: $25
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An optional 2 CEUs are available for purchase for an additional $25. See website for more course details.

Get more information about POLST by contacting your local POLST Coalition, or contacting the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.