All hospice care is palliative in nature – care is directed towards meeting the patient’s highest level of physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort. Palliative care is different than hospice care in the way that aggressive and life prolonging care and treatments can still be pursued while also obtaining comfort care. It can be provided with or without a terminal diagnosis.
Palliative care can start as soon as a serious diagnosis is noted. Hospice care however can not begin until all treatments have stopped.
Hospice of Guernsey, Inc. attempts to bridge the gap between palliative and hospice care by offering courtesy palliative consultations for symptom management to anyone in the community. Our nurses, many of which being certified in hospice and palliative care, are highly trained in symptom management and comfort care.
With an order from a patient’s physician, a hospice nurse will review the patient’s history, medication regimen, and perform a brief physical including a detailed assessment of the uncontrolled symptom. All of these findings are then discussed with a palliative pharmacist and recommendations are sent to the patient’s physician for review. Once the new suggested orders are initiated, the patient is monitored to see if optimum comfort is obtained or if other changes need to be made.