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GC 400

Death, Dying and Mourning

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This comprehensive CE course provides a very comprehensive overview of studies, research, and dynamics related to death and dying. Students study many facets of death and dying, as well as major theories, process models, cultural issues, religious issues and other related content. Progression in the course then focuses on processes of mourning and grieving, including effective strategies for assisting the bereaved. Death, dying and mourning is presented also according to various age groups. This course provides for scientific inquiry into death and dying and care of the bereaved. Upon successful completion of this course, students are awarded 30 contact hours of continuing education credits.

This course is particularly designed for those who would like to apply for Certification as a Grief Counselor with the American Academy of Grief Counseling. You must have met at least one of the defined requisites to enter this program, in order to enroll into this course.

Instructor/Course Author:  Dominick L. Flarey, Ph.D, MBA, RN,BC, GC-C
Link to Resume

TEXTBOOKS: There is one (1) required textbook for this course.

Death, Society and Human Experience (10th edition) by Robert J. Kastenbaum. Allyn & Bacon; New York. December 2008.

  • ISBN-10: 0205610536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205610532

AIHCP Online Bookstore: AIHCP provides an online bookstore stocked with all of the required textbooks, and/or materials required for its CE courses. To purchase this book online, click the access store link, go to the table of categories, right upper hand corner, and click on Grief Counseling. Access AIHCP Store: click here

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the four (4) courses in the Grief Counseling continuing education program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the courses within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an "incomplete" will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the courses after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

BOARD APPROVALS: AIHCP is an approved provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Nursing and the District of Columbia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975. The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the State of California, Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15595. Access information

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* Message Boards: each specialty program has an area to "post" on the message board. Students may post messages at anytime. Posting allows students to converse with those in the same specialty practice and to discuss issues/course content etc. Instructions for posting are provided in the online classrooms.

* Chat Rooms: each specialty has it's own unique "chat room." Inside of the classroom there is a schedule for "chat time" with students in your specific specialty practice. Participating in "chats" is voluntary. The chat sessions are used as means for students to come together and discuss course content or anything related to the courses and/or certification specialty.

* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as "open book" tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

* Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page "Student Resource Center." The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor's online resume/biography, as well as your instructor's specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional "readings" and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.



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COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1). Understand the concept of invisible death and the attitudes and behaviors around it.

2). Gain an historical perspective of current death practices.

3). Discuss demographic, psychological, sociological and economic factors which contribute to how death is dealt with and processed.

4). Discuss statistics and trend patterns in death occurrence.

5). Understand the application of the dying trajectories concept.

6). Discuss how age, stress and culture influence death.

7). Discuss theories of death and dying, stages and cycles.

8). Explore near death experiences and interpretations of them.

9). Understand the final step in the living/dying process.

10). Discuss grief, loss and mourning and reactions that people experience.

11.) Identify and discuss emotions experienced in coping with loss.

12.) Use developmental frameworks to assess children's and adolescent's ability to perceive death

13.) Understand the needs of terminally ill children.

14.) Assist children who are terminally ill or grieving the death of others.

15). Discuss issues of death and dying related to natural disasters, murder, accidents.

16). Discuss suicide and attempted suicide among the youth.

17). Understand the meaning of death of the adult's parent.

18). Understand the experience of loss of a child to parent and family.

19). View impending death of the aged from developmental frameworks.

20). Define the impact of death of spouse, children or pets to elderly persons.

21). Define social effects of aging.

22). Discuss practical procedures and tasks concerning death.

23). Discuss ethical and medical-legal concepts regarding the right to die.

24). Discuss historical views of how people people bury the dead.

25). Understand religious and secular practices regarding burial of the dead.


A brief abstract of content:

Attitudes and beliefs about death
Anxiety, denial and acceptance
Theories of death anxiety
Theoretical perspectives on death anxiety
Acceptance and denial of death
Nature and meaning of death
Biomedical Approaches to death
Interpretations of the death state
Characteristics of the death system
Functions of the death system
Natural disaster and death
The changing death system
Causes of death
Trajectories of dying
Death and communications
Theoretical models of the dying process
Hospice and palliative care
Relief of pain and suffering
Hospice decision making and challenges
End of life issues and decisions
Right to die decisions
Organ donation
Cultural meanings of suicide
Sociological theories of suicide
Suicide prevention
Violent deaths
Accidents and disasters
Assisted death
Death in the world of childhood
How children grieve
The dying child
Bereavement, grief and mourning
Types of grief
Theories of grief
Recovery from grief
Bereavement in later life
Death risk for the bereaved
Grief support and care
The funeral process
Improving the funeral process
Life after death theories and research
Near death experiences
Beliefs in the after life
Compassionate fatigue
Professional burn out
Death education
Grief counseling
Shifting meanings of life and death

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