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Palliative Care

Living Better with a Challenging Illness
Palliative Care Services at NVRH

Palliative Care is a medical speciality that offers medical, emotional, social, spiritual and comfort care to patients who are dealing with a serious or challenging illness. The purpose of palliative care is to support your goals while addressing the symptoms and stress of your illness. A team, including medical staff, chaplains and health care workers, combine resources to work with you and your family members to develop an special plan of care to meet your needs. Each person is different, so we want to get to know you so we can learn how to best support you and your family while you are facing the challenges of your illness. The Palliative Care team works with you, and your primary care physician, to determine how to best support you and the goals you have set for yourself.

Palliative Care provides -
* Coordination of care with your health care providers, including your primary care physician.
* Support for your family members and caregivers
* Pain and symptom management
* The opportunity to discuss your personal goals and wishes during your treatment, and reassess those goals if your plans change
* Patient-centered decision making about treatment and care
* Referrals for complementary therapies such as massage, reiki, meditation, guided imagery
* Connections to resources in the community that may be helpful to you and your family

Palliative Care is a relatively new medical speciality and often confused with Hospice Care. Although both palliative and hospice care are patient-centered and offer a number of "wrap-around" services for patients and family members, there are distinct differences in their philosophies. Although hospice care includes many components of palliative care, it is important to know that palliative care patients may continue to receive curative medical treatments (ie. chemotherapy, transfusions) on an ongoing basis, as part of their palliative care.

How it works at NVRH
* A referral is made to the Palliative Care team (by patient, physician, family member)
* A palliative care assessment is completed by the Hospitalist, Care Managers or Community Connections staff
* A palliative care consult/meeting is scheduled with staff, patient and caregivers
* A plan of care is outlined
* The Palliative Care Team continues to meet with the patient and caregiver on a regular basis to evaluate, assess, implement and alter the plan of care as the patient’s desires and needs dictate.

To learn more about Palliative Care at NVRH, call the Palliative Care Clinic at 748-7390.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
PO Box 905 1315 Hospital Drive
St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819
TTY/TTD, Dial 711
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