A serious illness can be stressful in more ways than you expect. You may find your diagnosis confusing. You may be faced with multiple treatment options, then second-guess the option you choose. You may have pain, or trouble resting or getting around. You may be anxious, depressed or afraid, unsure of what the future holds. And your family may be affected by your illness as well.
The Care Coordination team at Beaufort Memorial can connect you with supportive, or palliative, care to help you manage both your stress and your symptoms, educating you about your illness, addressing emotional and physical discomfort during treatment and enabling you and your family to maintain the best quality of life possible.
Our interdisciplinary team of experts takes a “whole person” approach to supportive care. Team members focus on you as an individual and on your goals for care, responding with a plan that takes into account your unique needs and wishes and those of your family. They know that just as every person is different, every care plan will be, too.
An adult patient at any stage of a serious illness—from diagnosis through illness progression—is eligible for supportive care services. The services, which can be provided alongside treatment to cure illness or extend life, are based on patient and family goals, not on illness prognosis.
It is important to understand that supportive care is NOT the same as hospice or end-of-life care. A referral for supportive care services does not signify a terminal diagnosis; rather, it’s made to improve quality of life for patient and family.
At Beaufort Memorial, referral for supportive care services typically begins while a patient is in the hospital. It can come from a physician, nurse, family member, member of the clergy, care coordinator or the patient him- or herself.
If the referral comes from anyone other than a hospitalist (a specialist who cares for hospitalized patients), a member of the Palliative Care team requests permission to conduct a consultation from the hospitalist responsible for the patient’s care.
Once permission is granted, the Palliative Care team initiates the consultation within one business day. The consultation consists of:
Findings from the consultation form the basis for supportive care planning. Care services begin while the patient is still in the hospital and continue after discharge for as long as needed. Findings are reviewed on a regular basis, with assessments repeated and supportive care plans modified whenever indicated.
Beaufort Memorial’s supportive care team comprises experienced professionals from several disciplines. We believe that drawing on their broadly ranging expertise helps ensure that patients’ needs, themselves broadly ranging, are met.
Our team members include:
For more information about the Palliative Care Program, call 843-522-7320.