Important Visitor, Family & Patient Updates Regarding COVID-19 Learn More

What, Exactly, Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a highly valuable and often misunderstood service available to patients with chronic health conditions. While you may hear the term used interchangeably with hospice, palliative care offers a similar service, but for patients with different needs.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is focused on symptom management for patients with chronic illnesses. The overall goal of palliative care is increased independence, functioning, and quality of life. For example, a patient experiencing a disease that causes chronic pain may struggle to maintain employment or enjoy activities with loved ones. In this case, palliative care professionals step in with compassion and look for innovative ways to prevent and manage pain and increase functionality. The idea is to help patients find ways to participate in daily activities that bring enrichment to their lives.

A Palliative Care Doctor’s Role

Each member of the palliative care team fulfills a different and important purpose in the overall care of the patient. The doctor’s role, however, is broad and strategic. Some of his or her objectives include:

  • Thorough review of the patient’s medical history
  • A complete understanding of the patient’s symptoms and how they impact independence and quality of life
  • Uncovering of secondary symptoms or problems (i.e. a patient experiencing shortness of breath may also have sleep apnea)
  • Development of a comprehensive plan that addresses symptoms, functioning, independence, and quality of life
  • Ongoing assessment and evaluation of the results of the treatment plan and intervention and adaptation when objectives aren’t achieved

It’s important that a palliative care doctor understands the patient – not only their ailment, but what’s most important to them and how that’s impacted by their ailment. Palliative care doctors are in the business of changing lives for patients who need empowering relief from symptoms.

To learn more about our compassionate palliative care team at Santé, stop by one of our state of the art properties or call us today.

< Back to Library
Skip to content