Hospice of the North Coast works in a team environment. To give a patient and their family members individualized and personalized care, it will take a team. Collaboration among many trained specialists is the only way to ensure quality end-of-life care that is personalized to your loved one’s specific needs.
The Hospice Team
The primary family caregiver is included, of course, in the Hospice Team’s approach to personalized care. The caregiver and family members know the patient best and are critical elements in guiding the overall approach to care, offering the patient the best plan possible. Along with the primary family caregiver, others who play significant roles are:
• Hospice Physicians/Medical Directors
• Registered Nurses/Licensed Vocational Nurses
• Home Health Aides
• Medical Social Workers
• Patient Care Volunteers
Hospice Physicians and Medical Directors work in combination with a patient’s own primary care physician. They are experts when it comes to managing a patient’s symptoms and pain level. Through collaboration with the patient’s physician, Hospice Physicians and Medical Directors help guide the overall healthcare plan for the patient.
Registered nurses are, of course, a critical component of the Hospice Team. They offer 24/7 skilled medical care and are charged with implementing the plan as designated by the patient’s doctor care team. RNs can also provide education to family members about the progression of the disease, its symptoms, and what they can expect in the coming days. An LVN (licensed vocational nurse) assists RNs with managing treatments, and crisis and after-hours care.
Home Health Aides are absolutely essential as well. These certified aides can help patients with bathing, washing hair, shaving, nail care, linen changes, and oral hygiene. They can also help with some light housekeeping needs, such as preparing light meals and washing laundry.
Medical Social Workers can help in a variety of ways, including emotional support, counseling, understanding financial matters and insurance forms, making funeral arrangements, or, if necessary, placing the patient in a care facility. A professional social worker is assigned to each patient.
Patient Care Volunteers are specially trained and selected individuals whose focus is on lending a helping hand to patients and their families, providing companionship, and just being there to listen. Background checks are performed on patient care volunteers and they receive extensive training before they are selected to help a patient and his/her family through an end-of-life transition.
Hospice of the North Coast sees that each individual has the personalized care team he or she deserves to meet their end-of-life journey with dignity.