The hospice interdisciplinary team develops a care plan that meets each patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control. This interdisciplinary team, as illustrated in Figure 1 below, usually consists of the patient’s personal physician, hospice physician or medical director, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, clergy or other spiritual counselors, trained volunteers, and speech, physical, and occupational therapists, if needed.
What services are provided to patients and families?
Among its major responsibilities, the interdisciplinary hospice team:
- Manages the patient’s pain and symptoms
- Assists the patient with the emotional, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying
- Provides needed drugs, medical supplies, and equipment
- Instructs the family on how to care for the patient
- Delivers special services like speech and physical therapy when needed
- Makes short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to treat at home, or the caregiver needs respite
- Provides bereavement care and counseling to surviving family and friends.