Baptist Health Madisonville: Palliative Care Services
Baptist Health provides palliative treatment and curative care for those with serious illnesses. Learn how palliative care in hospitals can improve quality of life for patients.
Palliative Care Services in Madisonville, Kentucky HealthTalks Transcript
Ashlee Elder, RN, Palliative Care:
Palliative care is a program offered to inpatients here at Baptist Health. It’s a service that is offered to improve the overall quality of life. Anyone that’s facing a serious life illness is a candidate for our program whether that be COPD, CHF, dementia, cancer, anything that affects their quality of life. The process starts whenever you’re in the hospital and the physician, your primary care [provider], or you have identified needs that have affected your quality of life. A consult is placed, and then a nurse navigator will come and speak to you. We want to explore what expectations the patient has and how we can meet those expectations. If the patient is accepted, we enroll you right then.
Palliative care and hospice contain a lot of similarities. Palliative care is a service that can start at diagnosis, whereas hospice is six months or less life expectancy. Both offer an advocation service to our patients. We want to ensure that the patient feels like we’re family that they can confide in. We’re there to support you physically, emotionally and spiritually throughout your journey.
Palliative care is often a misconception that it’s the end, and that can be discouraging. Palliative care is an umbrella of hope to our patients. We want to make every day count, whether or not that’s six months or whether or not that’s six years.