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Final Days of Life: The Social Worker's Role

Date and Time

Saturday, April 24, 2021
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Registration will close one hour before the class start time.

Offered via live webinar.

Completion of this class will result in the receipt of four (4) continuing education hours.

The challenges for social workers who attend to persons who are dying and to those around them can be thought of, at the most basic level, as knowing what you are facing; understanding your reactions; and knowing how to help. The social worker’s role as an advocate for the patient and the family is strengthened by the depth of our knowledge and our comfort and confidence in speaking with the health care team.

This class will review the symptoms of pre-active and active dying and how to help the family at the bedside manage these. We’ll consider what people who are dying want and fear, and how these concerns may change over the course of their dying. We’ll explore how decision making and communication affect the patient’s dying experience, including considering how hope and a poor prognosis interact. Participants will be invited to share their personal and professional introductions to death. We will also consider our strengths and weaknesses as advocates. Finally, we will practice some easy exercises to help ourselves remain grounded despite the whirlwind of emotions around us.

Jennifer HalpernJennifer Halpern, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C

Jennifer Halpern, PhD, LMSW, APHSW-C is a senior medical and certified palliative social worker, based at the Oncology Support Program (OSP) of the Westchester Medical Center Network/Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley. Jennifer supports both inpatients and outpatients. She is the Psychosocial Coordinator for the hospital’s Cancer Committee and is the Chair of the Ethics Committee. Recently, Jennifer has coordinated and directed the Study Guide for the APHSW certification exam as SWHPN’s Educational Consultant. Jennifer received her doctorate in social psychology/organizational behavior from UC Berkeley. As an assistant professor at Cornell University, she taught undergraduates and professionals.

Jennifer’s publications focus on communication, negotiation, and decision making. She authored two chapters in and co-edited Debating Rationality: Nonrational Aspects of Organizational Decision Making (Frank W. Pierce Memorial Lectureship and Conference Series; ILR Press.). She has volunteered, been a social work intern for, and provided business consulting services for Hospicare of Tompkins County. A move to the Hudson Valley led to her current position with the Oncology Support Program, a unique community-oriented program that just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Class fees are listed below:

  • Full Tuition - $120
  • GSS Alumni - $100
  • Current Field Instructor - $100
  • Current Adjunct Faculty - $100
  • SWHPN Member - $100
  • 3+ members registering from one agency - $80 per registration
  • Non-Fordham Current MSW or Social Work PhD Student - $80
  • Veterans - $80
  • Fordham Faculty and Staff - $80
  • Current Fordham MSW or PhD Student - $60
  • Fordham Alumni Palliative Care Fellow - $60
  • Current Fordham Palliative Care Fellowship Field Instructor/Career Mentor - $60
  • Current Fordham Palliative Care Fellow - $0

Continuing Education Hours

Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service is a provider of social work continuing education hours, as approved by the New York State Education Department Board for Social Work.

Completion of this class will result in the receipt of four (4) continuing education hours . CEHs are not awarded for partial completion of the class.

Volume Discounts

For classes registered at the same time:

  • Two classes: 10% off total price
  • Three or four classes: 15% off total price
  • Five or more: 20% off total price

Volume discounts are not applied at checkout. A refund will be issued to the credit card used to register for the class.

Refunds and Cancellations

Refunds may be issued as follows:

  • 10 working days prior to the class date: full refund
  • 7 to 9 working days prior to the class date: 50% refund
  • 6 working days or less prior to the class date: no refund
NOTE: Working day is Monday through Friday, non-holiday days.
Refund requests must be made via email to The date on the email will be used to determine the amount of the refund.
If the class is cancelled, all registrants will receive a full refund.

You will receive the Zoom link for joining the class at least one day before the class. You will need a computer and a reliable WiFi connection. The computer may be a desktop or a laptop. It may be an Apple or Windows computer.

If you have never used Zoom before, you will likely be prompted to download an applet, which is a small program that allows Zoom to communicate with your computer. This is safe and you will need to do this to join the class.

It is NOT advised that you participate using a tablet (e.g,.an iPad) or a cellular phone. The software is not optimized for these devices.

Please plan to join the online class 15 minutes before the start time to be sure that you don’t have any problems connecting. We cannot provide technical support to you and refunds won’t be offered if you have technical problems. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact us at at least a few days before the class.