Supportive care, also known as palliative care, focuses on the relief of symptoms and improving quality of life for patients and their families.
Supportive care is available to all patients with serious illness, regardless of their age or stage of disease progression. The goal is to help manage symptoms such as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, or any other uncomfortable symptoms caused by illness or medical treatments. Curative treatments, such as chemotherapy, may be received at the same time as supportive care. The ability to continue seeking aggressive medical treatment is one way that supportive care differs from hospice care.
The Supportive Care Team is a group of specially trained doctors, a nurse practitioner, a physician's assistant, and a nurse that provide palliative care to patients throughout the hospital.
Both physicians are board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Social workers, chaplains, child-life specialists, and counselors from different areas of the hospital also work with the team to ensure that all emotional, social, and spiritual needs are met as well. The Supportive Care Team works together with patients, families and the other medical teams involved to ensure that quality of life, as defined by each patient and family, is optimized. This is accomplished through goals of care conversations and aggressive symptom management.
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