Our Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care is one of the country’s premier programs in Palliative Care, with both inpatient services and outpatient services. In 2009, the department instituted a fellowship in palliative care, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
We assist patients in controlling their pain and symptoms to allow them to be as comfortable as possible. Palliative care takes into account the preferences, beliefs, culture, and values of patients, their families and their care providers. Patients who choose to receive palliative care continue to work with their nurses and doctors along with their Palliative Care Team members.
We maintain a patient-first attitude towards Palliative Care and follow four principles:
- Comfort. Palliative Care specialists understand how to treat pain and discomfort. By making the right arrangements and ordering the right medications they can ease pain and the symptoms of disease, improve quality of life for those who are suffering, and bring peace of mind.
- Support. Palliative Care teams often include doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and religious and spiritual professionals. When serious or advanced illness arises, it can be hard on everyone and, if the patient wants, the team can help the patient’s whole family.
- Dignity. Palliative Care teams listen to patients and help them and their families understand what is going on now and how to plan for the future—even after the hospital. Palliative Care is about dignity and caring.
- Hope. When illness comes, it may not be easy to find strength or hope. Families and friends may wish to provide hope but not know how. The Palliative Care team can help patients and families see new possibilities and find insights that bring peace and a path to healing troubled relationships.