Types of Professionals Involved in Palliative Care

man in palliative care

Palliative care is the kind of medical care that is specialized for people who live with serious illnesses. The care is designed to alleviate symptoms and stress and to improve their quality of life. Sometimes palliative care will be provided alongside curative treatment, and the idea is to help the patient to continue their daily life.

For it to be effective, it must match the personal goals of the patient to give them control over their care. Palliative care in Indiana is a partnership between teams of professionals. The specialists work alongside one another to provide every kind of support that the patient needs. They also help the patient’s family to know how to interact with the patient.

The types of professionals you will likely find, include:

Surgeons and physicians

A surgeon is specialized in a specific medical field. They are responsible for diagnosing disease and providing all the relevant information that one needs. A surgeon could be a neurologist, oncologist or even a respiratory physician.

The kind of surgeon a patient gets depends on their specific situation demands. Sometimes, one may only need a general practitioner as opposed to a specialized professional. The doctor is responsible for managing continuous care and calling in other professionals whenever necessary.

Psychiatrists and consultants

A consultant in palliative care is often a medical doctor who has specialized training in caring for people who live with illnesses that limit their lives. They are typically equipped to handle complicated cases and can work in elderly care facilities or hospitals.

They may also be referred to in dedicated units for palliative care. A psychiatrist, on the other hand, will have specialized mental health training.

Their job is to offer psychological and emotional support for both the patient and the family of the patient. Often, the fees for the psychiatrists will be covered in many health insurance policies, but one should expect to pay additional fees.

Nurses

nurse attends to a woman in palliative care

Nurses deliver most of the care necessary for palliative care. They assess the progress of existing plans, organize for any changes should a program have a loophole, and administer treatments to help manage symptoms. It is advisable that one has at least one nurse staying with them at any one time as they undergo palliative care.

Allied professionals

Sometimes one needs the help of other professionals who are not necessarily medics to get through their care plan. For example, a dietician may help someone during their rehabilitation to adjust to new eating habits. Other professionals include occupational therapists, pharmacists, pastoral care workers, and social workers.

In some cases, the palliative care team will include volunteers. These can be family or community members who offer their services for free. In most cases, these volunteers must be trained and recruited by palliative care service providers to make sure that they provide practical help and support that lines up with the goal of the patient’s plan.

Volunteers may also help with other therapies that work alongside palliative care, such as acupuncture, herbal medicine therapies, aromatherapy, and yoga.