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End of Life Doula Training- Finding The Right Fit

Dear Barbara, can you recommend a resource to educate me on how to become a private EOL practitioner?

About EOL training? I’m taking that to mean end of life doula training. There are many groups offering training. 

I would suggest doing a Google search and start contacting different programs to find the “fit” for you. Also look through the members of NEDA (The National End of Life Doula Alliance) and INELDA (International End of Life Doula Association).

Interview many.  Do a zoom interview before you make any decision. Ask many questions. You will be committing time and money so you want to be sure it is a personality fit. We are not just talking about an online course. We are talking about commitment and extensive, authentic knowledge to be acquired. Find the personality and content that matches your direction. 

Since at this time there are no “standards of practice” or even standards for the content given in end of life training, think about what you are looking to provide. What do you want to receive from the course you are searching for? 

Since there are no certification course requirements to call yourself an end of life doula here are my thoughts on what to look for in a course. 

* Content (comprehensive detailing of signs of approaching death, moment of death and grief); what happens and what to do while it is happening.

* Communication skills

* Actual how to (positioning, oxygen, nutrition, hydration), 

* Advanced directives, 

* Funeral planning, 

* Spiritual support, 

* Self care

* Ongoing class support. I think this is very important. You want a program that has continued in-services and support. 

You want to look at the personality of the leader of the program. Is it a personality fit for you? You want to have an ongoing relationship with your leader. You do not want it to stop when class is over. Make your own list, what do you want to learn?

I’ve just scratched the surface of questions to ask, but hopefully this will get you started. 

Something More about…  End of Life Doula Training~ Finding the Right Fit

End of Life Doula trainers I work with educate their doulas with my film NEW RULES for End of Life Care, The Final Act of Living and End of Life Guideline Series

Originally Published on

Barbara Karnes Registered Nurse

Barbara Karnes, RN Award Winning End of Life Educator, Award Winning Nurse, NHPCO Hospice Innovator Award Winner 2018 & 2015 International Humanitarian Woman of the Year

While at the bedside of hundreds of people during the dying process, Hospice Pioneer Barbara Karnes noticed that each death was following a near identical script. Each person was going through the stages of death in almost the same manner and most families came to her with similar questions. These realizations led Barbara to sit down and write Gone From My Sight, "The Little Blue Book" that changed the hospice industry.

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