A new patient has a diagnosis of a serious, potentially life-limiting condition. Do not miss this opportunity to provide Serious Illness Care (PDF). An existing patient of yours is working to manage a serious life-limiting condition. A partner to a patient of yours confides in you sharing they are concerned about their loved one's quality of life and them not being able to do as much as they used to. A parent feels lost about how to help a child who is suffering with their illness.
Have you heard or had one of these situations happen to you? If yes, so now what? The patient in your care needs palliative care but does not know it, so now it is up to you to help them start receiving it.
Keys to Succeed
Here are keys to help you succeed in giving palliative care. First recognize that if you are:
- Listening to learn more about what a patient is experiencing
- Providing a patient emotional, physical, spiritual, and social support
- Helping a patient with decision making and figuring out care goals
- Helping a patient with referrals and connecting them with additional resources
- Educating a patient on the course of an illness and treatment options
Then you are giving palliative care.
Next, it is okay to be unsure. Palliative care is a specialty; however, most practitioners may be in a comparable situation as you where palliative care is not the central focus of their work or practice. Third, we are here to connect you with resources. A great first place to start is the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Additionally, you can search the Get Palliative Care Provider Directory to refer a patient to palliative care in your area.
Finally, do your part to increase your understanding. Search the Get Palliative Care Provider Directory to be able to refer a patient to palliative care in their area.
Increase Your Understanding
- Reference Fast Facts and Concepts, which is developed and maintained by the Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin, and contains over 300 peer-authored articles on specific subjects around palliative care; there are also mobile apps out there with similar with equally accessible information
- Become familiar with other programs and services in your community and the surrounding areas that may support your patient and their family
- Seek and participate in continuing education opportunities. Here are just a couple examples where you can find some:
- Consider gaining a certification through the Hospice and Palliative Care Credentialing Center
- Join the National Consensus on Palliative Care; its mission is to present a united voice to the public and policy makers on behalf of providers, professionals and other organizations