Palliative care is expanding at Providence Medical Centers. It is available to all patients suffering life-threatening illness, despite their prognoses. A patient’s physician can refer the patient to the Palliative Care Service or patients and family members can request services through their physicians. The team provides consultation to the patient’s physicians who will continue to direct the patient’s care.
Palliative care services are different from hospice care. Each of the Providence Medical Centers in Southern California provides in-hospital palliative care services during any phase of a patient’s illness, even during active treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. If an illness has progressed to an advanced stage, and hospice care is required, the patient continues to receive palliative care treatment to relieve pain and other symptoms. Providence Medical Center Palliative Care team members may help with the transition to hospice care and palliative care within the hospice setting, if needed.
The Providence TrinityCare palliative care team is made up of specially trained physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers and chaplains who provide care in the home environment, the hospital setting and/or affiliated facilities. The goals of palliative care, a medical specialty that treats pain and other symptoms of serious and life-threatening illnesses, include assuring comfort, and helping the patient enjoy life as much as possible.
If the patient transitions to hospice care, the Palliative Care team will remain closely involved, focusing on intensive caring. The goal of the entire Providence TrinityCare Hospice and Palliative Care team is to help the patient live life to the fullest with quality and dignity.
Palliative Care services vary depending on individual patient and family preferences. They may include:
- Treatment to relieve pain and other symptoms
- Individual and family counseling
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Help in planning for care after the hospital
- Assistance with treatment choices and decisions
Providence offers extensive training for members of its palliative care teams, utilizing role-playing and other tools to enhance counseling techniques for sensitive conversations with patients and their family members and high-tech manikins that serve as palliative care patients to assist with real-life lessons.