As a trusted caregiver, you can help take the mystery out of palliative care.
When you refer a patient for palliative care, consider these points:
- I’m referring you for palliative care.
- Palliative medicine is a specialized field focused on relieving pain and other symptoms.
- You have some special needs and I think a palliative expert could help. When I have a patient who needs specialized cardiac care, I send her to a cardiologist. When a patient needs specialized joint care, I send him to an orthopedist. This is the same thing.
- I will still be your doctor. Just think of the palliative care team as part of our team.
- If applicable: Palliative care will not affect our ongoing treatments to attack your disease.
- At your consultation, the palliative care specialist will ask you about your pain, symptoms and current treatment. I’ll be sending over some notes so they know what you and I have been working on. They’ll also talk to you about your goals and wishes and the treatment options available to you. From there, a plan of action will be developed. They will communicate with me regularly, we work together.