Interdisciplinary Team

Interdisciplinary Team consists of professional hospice staff which provides comfort for the patients and their families. The team-oriented approach provides expert medical care, pain management and emotional as well as spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well.

Each team consists of the following:

Nurses

Hospice 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. The hospice nurse makes intermittent visits to monitor and evaluate the patient’s condition. The nurse provides the patient and family with information about the illness and helps manage the pain and symptoms of the disease.

Physicians

The patient’s personal physician and the hospice physician work together to plan the patient’s medical care. They are always in close communication with the other members of the hospice interdisciplinary team.

Hospice Aides (Home Health Aide)

Hospice Aides are skilled in helping the patient and caregiver with the personal care of the patient, such as personal grooming, some light housekeeping or meal preparation, and many other duties as needs arise. Aides provide a break for caregivers in the normal routine of personal care and they offer both physical and emotional support. Personal care services are provided to patients on an intermittent basis.

Social Workers

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

Chaplains

Spiritual issues are an important part of the care of the patient requiring hospice care. Preferences are discussed with the patient and family members. In addition to the support provided by the patient’s church or synagogue, hospice spiritual counselors help patients address life closure and the meaning of life. Assistance with memorial services and funerals is available at the family’s request.

Bereavement Counselor

Individual, telephone and group support are offered to the patient and family, before and after a patient’s death. Bereavement support is also offered to the community when anyone is experiencing a loss.

Therapists

Limited physical, occupational, and speech therapies are available through hospice to help a patient maintain comfort or quality of life. Other life enriching therapies such as pet therapy is also available.

Trained Volunteers

Hospice volunteers are members of the community who have special interest and specialized training. Volunteers provide companionship for the patient and relief for the caregiver. Volunteers are very important members of the interdisciplinary team. Patient-family volunteers perform many functions including sitting with patients, running errands for the patient or caregiver, providing emotional support, and relaying information to other members of the interdisciplinary team for follow-up. The volunteer training curriculum includes an introduction to hospice, the patient-family volunteer role, concepts of death and dying, communication skills, care and comfort measures, diseases and medical conditions, psychosocial and spiritual issues related to death and dying, stress management, bereavement, infection control, safety, confidentiality, and patient rights. In addition, administrative volunteers help with office duties, special projects, and fundraising.