The Hospice Team
Hospice care is provided by a team of professionals, which includes doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, therapists and trained volunteers.
Physician Services. Your personal physician and the hospice medical director work together to plan your medical care. They work closely with other members of the hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT). Once your physician has determined hospice care is appropriate, Nurse Practitioners may function as your primary contact for medical services.
Nurses. Nurses specialize in palliative care which is a special kind of care that keeps pain to a minimum and increases comfort. The nurse is the liaison between the patient and the physician and other health care professionals. Nursing services include pain and symptom management, education of caregivers, supervision of personal care, and assisting the family at the time of death.
Medical Social Worker. The social worker is a counselor to the patient and the family. The social worker assists the family with financial, insurance and legal issues, and helps them understand the personal and social challenges of illness, disability, and the dying process. The social worker arranges volunteer support and other services in the community which are available as resources.
Spiritual/Pastoral Counselor.Chaplains and spiritual counselors provide spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families who choose to receive these services. They help patients and families integrate their life’s meaning within their hospice journey. At the family’s request, hospice spiritual counselors can also help with memorial services and funerals.
Hospice Aides. Hospice aides help the patient and caregiver with the personal care of the patient on an intermittent basis. They provide a break for caregivers in the normal routine of personal care and they offer both physical and emotional support.
Therapists. Physical, occupational, speech and dietetic therapists are available to help a patient maintain comfort or quality of life.
Bereavement Counseling.Bereavement counseling is available to support family members for at least 12 months after the death of a loved one. Bereavement counselors provide one-on-one counseling and also organize support groups.
Volunteers. Hospice volunteers are members of the community who have special interest in hospice and receive specialized training in serving hospice patients. Volunteers provide companionship to patients and respite to caregivers. They assist with chores, shopping, transportation and other needs. They may provide bereavement services following a patient’s death.