Palliative Care Service
Coping with a serious illness or hospital stay can be stressful for you and your family. Discomfort from symptoms of your illness or its treatment can make day-to-day life difficult. Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on relief and prevention of pain and other symptoms for patients with serious illness and their families.
Jefferson's Palliative Care Service works in partnership with your physician to help you feel better during your treatment so that you can live as well as possible. Whether you are in the hospital or your Jefferson physician's office, you may request a Palliative Care Service consultation.
To schedule a consultation, please page the Service at 1-877-656-4509.
Expert Advice in a Variety of Areas
Our Palliative Care Service physicians and nurse are specially trained to offer expert advice in a variety of areas:
- Pain and symptom management: Symptoms such as pain, nausea and shortness of breath make day-to-day life difficult and can interfere with treatment for your illness. Our Palliative Care Service can advise you and your physician on medications, treatments or referrals to help you feel better.
- Support for you and your family: Coping with a serious illness can be stressful. Feelings of frustration, anxiety and anger about your illness can arise. You may want information about your illness, emotional support or just someone to listen. Our Service team will learn about your concerns and offer support during your difficult time.
- Assistance with decision making: Choosing the best medical treatment can be confusing. We will work with your physician to plan care that matches your wishes and help you better understand your choices in order to make the right decision.
- Questions about hospice care: Hospice provides palliative care, too. However, hospice is for patients who do not want further treatment and who are expected to live six months or less. Jefferson's Palliative Care Service can answer your questions about hospice care.
Palliative Care Referral Criteria
Presence of a serious illness and one or more of the following:
- Patient, family, or team need assistance with complex decision making and determination of goals of care
- Difficult-to-control pain or other symptom distress (such as dyspnea, delirium, nausea) related to a serious medical illness
- Difficult-to-control psychosocial or spiritual issues related to a serious medical illness
- Multiple hospitalizations for same diagnosis
- Progressive decline in functional status
- Progressive metastatic cancer
- New diagnosis of life limiting illness for symptom control or determination of goals of care
- Need for Advance Care Planning or clarification of DNR status
- Utilization of ICU setting in patient with documented poor prognosis
- Prolonged ICU stay or transfer to the ICU setting without evidence of progress
- Questions regarding artificial nutrition or hydration in cognitively impaired, seriously ill or actively dying patients
- Patient or family requests for care determined by primary team to be differences in family and team goals of care
- Patient, family, or team request for information regarding hospice appropriateness