The goal of palliative care is to give you more control over your care by helping you better understand your choices for treatment, to relieve suffering and to provide the best possible quality of life for both the patient and their family.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness or a new condition. Early intervention can help patients experience the benefits more quickly. The team can provide care alongside treatments that are meant to cure your disease or help you recover. Regardless of the stage of the illness or treatment, palliative care can address physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitate patient autonomy, access to information and choice.
Palliative care has benefited many patients facing a variety of serious medical health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung disease, kidney disease, cardiac disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), cancer and dementia.
Our palliative care team is grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family.
How Does Palliative Care Differ From Hospice?
- Palliative care can begin at any stage of a serious, life-altering illness and is intended to occur simultaneously with treatment that has a goal of curing or recovering.
- Hospice is provided during the last months of life.
Palliative Care Is More…..
Palliative care is more than just medicine,
It is feeling better about ourselves,
It is a compassionate way through serious illness,
It is the extra time and caring for patients.
Palliative care allows for insight into individual struggles, which is often humbling.
It is not just diagnosing but understanding spiritual needs.
Palliative care is about the interaction, the connection and sharing with our patients.
It is about respecting choice.
Palliative care is about opening up possibilities,
It is seeing things from multiple perspectives,
Palliative care is a team of angels, helping people during their most difficult times,
It is embracing life fully, each and every day, reminding us what a gift it is.
– A community poem
Created by the NCH palliative care team
October 19, 2016
More About Palliative Care
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness-whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s health team to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage during a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Specializes in creating effective relationships for collaboration with all the other physicians and nurses involved in your care. The palliative care physician may also participate in an interdisciplinary family meeting to ensure that you and your family have the greatest possible understanding of the circumstances surrounding your medical care.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
Specialize in complex clinical assessment of medical issues, as well as assessment of pain and other symptoms that may be surrounding your clinical diagnoses. The ARNP may provide additional recommendations to your physician regarding your needs.
Master Level Medical Social Worker or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Provides critical psychosocial support, assessment and counseling to you and your family member during your hospitalization. The social worker will assist you and your family members in having the best understanding of your medical condition and will discuss in detail and decisions and options that may be made for continuation of care. The social worker is able to collaborate with your family and provide a basic medical overview of the progression of your care.
Provides ongoing spiritual and psychosocial support to both you and your family as you begin to unpack and process the information that is coming from all other members of your medical team.
The NCH Healthcare System palliative care team has professionals available to you throughout your stay.
Tools for Patients and Families
Health Care Proxy and Living Will
The health care proxy allows an individual to designate a person to make decisions on his or her behalf if the individual becomes unable to do so. The health care proxy should be knowledgeable about the patient’s wishes and values, and should make decisions as he/she believes the patient would make under the circumstances.
The living will allows an individual to set out his or her philosophy about medical decision-making if the individual loses the ability to speak for himself or herself in the future.
A Family Care Conference
The palliative medicine team utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to ensure that you and your family receive the information and support that you need throughout the duration of your hospitalization. One of the tools that is utilized to ensure that you have received the necessary information is called a family care conference. This conference is utilized to provide updates to the key players of your family and support system as well as discuss any decisions that may need to be made and discuss options or establish your goals of care.
Support Our Program
Palliative care is specialized patient-family medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is managed by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Palliative care provides the patient more control over their care by better understanding their choices for treatment, to relieve suffering and to provide the best possible quality of life for both the patient and their family.
NCH depends on charitable contributions to help maintain and enhance the quality of life for those in our care. Your donations will support designated Chaplin services, as well as, provide comfort care and pain management to our patients and their families regardless of their financial circumstances.