If your loved one has a serious illness and requires extra help and support you may want to consider using palliative nursing services. These nurses don’t just treat their patient’s medical condition, they also help to relieve some of the symptoms and stress that go along with having a serious illness. This can help to improve your loved ones’ quality of life.
What Does A Palliative Nurse Do?
A palliative nurse is different from many standard caregivers. They work hand in hand with the patient’s doctors, social workers, and specialists, to ensure that the patient is getting a proper level of care. They also provide additional support to the patient and their family.
A palliative nurse can help the family understand the patient’s medical condition and things they can do to help with their loved ones’ treatments. They can record information for doctors when it’s necessary for to monitor the patient’s progress.
Who Can Use Palliative Nursing Care?
Palliative care is for treating people suffering from the stress and symptoms of various serious illnesses. The person can be of any age or at any stage in the illness or treatment. Some of the common illnesses people use palliative care services for are congestive heart failure (CHF), kidney disease, Parkinson’s, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), Alzheimer’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Palliative care service providers seek to reduce symptoms including, shortness of breath, constipation, pain, depression, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite and anxiety. By reducing or eliminating some of these symptoms, the care specialist can help to improve their patient’s quality of life.
Who Should Be On a Palliative Care Team?
The palliative team should start with the patient’s primary doctor and the palliative nurse. You may also consider having a social worker, therapist, counselor or psychiatrist on this team. Some patients require a physical therapist.
The members of the team need to close communication in order for the patient to get the treatment and support they need. The palliative nurse may travel to the appointments with the patient to ensure all of the necessary information is updated with each visit. This can also be done by a family member.
What’s the Different Between Palliative Care and Standard Nursing Care?
Palliative care approaches the treatment of the patient by including the reduction of the stress of their illness. Standard nursing care usually just involves the treatment of the illness, although the nurse may provide some of the same services. Both nurses can improve a patient’s quality of life in different ways.
Your loved one’s doctor can help you determine if palliative care is needed. If they believe it may help, they can also direct you to a palliative care service. You should interview with several companies before choosing one.
Look at the type of services they provide, in order to determine which, would fit your loved one’s needs and their budget. Some services like Spectrum Health Care have websites that provide useful information about palliative care and other types of nursing services. This can help you choose the right type of nursing care for your loved one.