Palliative Care: Support, Comfort, Compassion

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is patient centered and addresses needs within the context of family and community. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses 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.

What to expect with a palliative care plan:

  • Good medical treatment continues.
  • Symptoms are managed.
  • There is continuity of care.
  • Patient and family are well prepared.
  • Preferences are always taken into consideration.
  • Making the best of every day!

Baptist Hospital's palliative care service requires a referral from the attending physician or specialist, but once that referral is made to the palliative care team, they will meet with the patient and/or family members as soon as possible. Usually, the first step is to hold a “family meeting” with patients and their families. This lasts an hour or longer if needed. During the session, the palliative care team’s goal is to ensure that each patient and loved one has a full understanding of the medical condition and becomes aware of any future challenges that could arise. These meetings help to foster family communication.

The palliative care team at Baptist includes multiple disciplines: a physician, nurse practitioner, nurses and social workers. All team members have special training and credentials in palliative care. The palliative care team interacts with many different specialties across the hospital services including, but not limited to, our employed hospitalist team, oncology, cardiology, pulmonary critical care, neurosurgery and more.

The staff of Baptist Hospital wants to make sure that you and your family are supported as you cope with serious illness. We have health care professionals who are educated in communicating with patients and their families about the issues they face. Our hope is that you will feel comfortable with our resources and our expertise and will call on us at any time.

Advance Directives

A Guide to Understanding Advance Directives and Living Wills