Serious illness can pose many challenges for patients and their families: pain and other symptoms, uncertainty about goals of care, difficult choices regarding the type of treatment to receive. Palliative care focuses on supporting those who are struggling with such difficulties.
Specialists from the NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) Palliative Care Service are available at the request of attending physicians to assist in coordinating and managing the care of hospitalized patients. This may include:
- Helping with strategies for easing pain and other symptoms
- Promoting communication between patient, family, and medical team about the goals and coordination of care
- Participating in difficult decisions about the use of medical procedures and technology
- Helping choose the most appropriate setting for a patient to receive care
The Palliative Care Service supports patients of all kinds at any stage of illness. While team members work closely with NorthShore’s Home and Hospice Services when appropriate, palliative care can benefit those who are hospitalized for serious illness, regardless of the prognosis. Physicians of the Palliative Care Service are board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine and are assisted by a full-time nurse practitioner with advanced training in the field. Palliative care is covered by insurance in the same way as other inpatient services. If you feel palliative care may be appropriate for you or your loved one, ask your doctor about it.
For more information about palliative care, visit: www.getpalliativecare.org.