RadioMD: Body Language
RadioMD: Body Language

Palliative Care: More than Simply Hospice

September 19, 20149 min
Yes, palliative care does help people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses, but it isn't entirely ominous.Patients (and even some doctors) tend to associate palliative care with hospice, and that they need this care because they are nearing death. Yes, palliative care does help people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses; but it isn't entirely ominous. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are dying. Palliative care can help with anyone who is sick and needs intense symptom management, including difficulty breathing, pain, even depression and anxiety. Some people are cured and no longer need the care. Sadly, the palliative care team is typically consulted late in the process of a patient's terminal illness, with one of the major reasons being money. To put it crassly, the care earns little compared with the expensive drugs and scans used in curative treatment. (Opinionator)Having the tough conversations about the lives of people you love is a special interest of nurse Theresa Brown, RN, who is a oncology nurse and the author of Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between. She reveals how palliative care can extend the quantity and quality of life.

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