Learning to Facilitate Advance Care Planning: The Novice Social Worker’s Experience

Karla Washington, Sharon Bowland, Kay Mueggenburg, Margaret Pederson, Sheila Otten, Tanya Renn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Professional leaders have identified clear roles for social workers involved in advance care planning (ACP), a facilitated process whereby individuals identify their preferences for future medical care; yet information about effective teaching practices in this area is scant. This study reports on the experiences of 14 social workers who participated in a nationally recognized, evidence-based ACP facilitator certification program. Researchers first analyzed data consisting of participants’ in-depth reflective writings using an inductive thematic analysis process. Identified themes were subsequently grouped into three categories to characterize the “novice” experience of participants: theoretical knowledge, skill development, and self-reflection. Findings underscore the importance of ACP training in social work education and the need for teachers to help learners better understand the process of professional skill development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-530
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 26 2014


  • advanced practice
  • gerontology education
  • skill development


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