EOL Doula Training Program

Interested in practicing as an end-of-life doula or integrating doula approaches into the support you offer others? Check out the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s completely online training program, developed by Francesca Arnoldy.

Who is this course for?

We are proudly welcoming:

  • Aspiring doulas
  • End-of-life care practitioners
  • Family caregivers
  • Hospice and palliative care volunteers
  • Professionals who work in healthcare, mental health, social work, and integrative therapies
  • Spiritual care providers
  • All who heed the call to embrace dying as part of the natural life cycle with more compassion and knowledge

Weekly Module Topics

Orientation: The EOLD course offers an optional online orientation that opens one week prior to the course start date, and can be completed at the student’s own pace, whenever is convenient. Students are highly encouraged to take part in this one-hour orientation, but it is not required.

Week 1: Introduction to End-of-Life Work, Dying Person’s Bill of Rights, Role and Scope of an end-of-life Doula, Introduction to Hospice and Palliative Care, Personal Death Awareness; Introduction to end-of-Life Options and Wishes

Week 2: Introduction to the Grief Continuum (Stages and Dimensions of Grief and Loss, Anticipatory Grief, Supportive Responses), Commonalities in EOL Experiences

Week 3: Understanding the Patient Experience, Introduction to Dementia, Music at the End-of-Life, Universal Safety Precautions, Introduction to Basic Hands-on Care, Starting the Conversation (Goals of Care, Common Illnesses/Diseases, Pain Assessment and Management)

Week 4: Appropriate Professional and Personal Boundaries, Companioning versus Treating; Serving versus Helping, Non-judgmental Support, Entering Sacred Space, Holding Space

Week 5: “Turning Toward” Suffering, Dignity Therapy, Active Dying Process: Signs and Supportive Interventions, The Needs of Clients, Caregiving Considerations, Self-Care

Week 6: Religious/Cultural Beliefs and Practices, Spirituality, After Death Options, Complementary Care, Roles Among Providers/Systems, Care Coordination

Week 7: Preparing for Loss (Life Review, Completion Work, Legacy Projects), Bereavement/Grief Support, Pediatric Death, Loss, and Grief

Week 8: Setting Intention, Comfort Measures, Guided Imagery, Setting a Personalized Atmosphere of Calm, Vigil Planning, Vigil Sitting, Self-Reflection (Re-evaluation of Personal End-of-Life Wishes), What a Doula Does

Free, Bonus Modules: Doula Bag, Visit Ideas/Activities, The Emerging End-of-Life Doula Career (Meetings, Contracts, Business Considerations), Role and Scope Revisited