Patient Care: The Hospice Team
Good Samaritan Hospice’s interdisciplinary team consists of a variety of persons with unique skills. Each team member and volunteer is specially trained to assist the patient to live as fully and comfortably as possible with his or her rights to dignity and choice intact.
The Hospice Patient and Family
The patient and his or her family are the most important members of the hospice team. The patient determines, with the rest of the hospice team, the kind of care that will be given. He or she has the option to discontinue hospice care at any time. The rest of the hospice team relies on the patient to let them know of needs, concerns and questions.
Hospice Attending Physician
The physician indicates in his or her best judgment, if the patient is appropriate for hospice. The physician continues to follow the patient and works with our staff to establish a plan of care that includes symptom management, equipment and supplies and visit frequencies.
Good Sam’s full-time medical director will oversee the medical component of patient care and will work closely with the primary-care physicians of patients residing at home and in nursing facilities as well as with the hospice team.
The hospice nurse works closely with the physician to ensure that the patient is kept as physically comfortable as possible. Pain control and symptom management will be primary concerns. The hospice nurse makes scheduled visits and arranges for prescriptions and medical equipment as needed. There is always a hospice nurse on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency situations.
Hospice aides assist with personal care, such as bathing, hair care and nail care. The aides will also help educate families about changing a bed and safe transfer of the patient.
Medical Social Worker
Medical social workers provide individual and family counseling to help meet the challenges created by a terminal illness. They also help the patient and family members access the resources necessary for care.
A bereavement counselor is trained to help people deal with the grief issues that arise from the loss of a loved one. This counselor is also available to assist patients and families with grief that may occur as one’s health declines.
Spiritual support is provided directly to patients and families who request such assistance. Chaplains are available and represent a wide variety of spiritual backgrounds and religious denominations. The hospice chaplain may also serve as a liaison between the patient’s church and hospice.
Hospice volunteers provide assistance in various ways, including providing respite for family members by staying with the patient or providing practical support such as running errands or assisting with chores. For more information on volunteer services, click here.