Palliative Care

Palliative Care

Palliative care is a comprehensive approach to care for patients facing the problems associated with progressive and life-limiting illness. Our goal is to help you maintain and achieve your goals throughout your illness. While recognizing that many diseases can be managed for long periods of time, the pallia­tive care service staff understand the need for qual­ity of life for patients and their loved ones. Centra Palliative Care Services can be provided to patients at any stage of their illness — from the time of diagnosis through the final days of their lives.

Palliative Care Team's Duties

The specialist in Palliative Care Services collaborates with your doctor to recommend ways to address your needs, including medical management of symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Supportive care

We recognize that the journey through an illness is physical, psychological, and spiritual and is experienced differently by each person and his or her loved ones. A major focus of the services is to help you and your loved ones deal with all of these aspects of your illness. Additionally, we will help you anticipate future needs that may arise as your illness progresses.

The Palliative Care Team

Multidisciplinary team members include:

  • Registered nurse
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Social worker
  • Physician
  • Pastoral care staff

With most palliative care consults, the nurse practitioner will meet with you and complete the initial patient assessment. During this assessment, the nurse practitioner will talk with you and your family to help answer questions and assist in establishing goals of care and the development of a discharge plan. Once the initial assessment has been completed and thoroughly reviewed with the palliative care physician, additional meetings may be requested at a time convenient for you and your family.

The nurse practitioner, along with the palliative care physician, also will treat your symptoms, including pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. The palliative care team will work closely with your primary care physician and other specialists providing care.

The other team members that may meet with you include:

  • Dietitian
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Pharmacist

Requesting Palliative Care

If you wish to receive a palliative care con­sultation, please ask your physician or nurse to make the referral. Your healthcare team also may initiate a review of your case by our team. A consultation may be requested at any time throughout your illness. We strive to see patients within 24 hours or receiving a referral.

Joint Commission Certification

Centra's quality of achieving optimum care for patients with serious illness is evidenced by its Certification for Palliative Care by The Joint Commission. Patients, families, employers, and providers benefit from palliative care programs that have been evaluated by The Joint Commission because it ensures compliance with relevant standards, effective use of clinical practice guidelines, and use of performance measures and improvement.