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Palliative Care medicine focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms of serious, life-threatening illnesses. It improves our patients' quality of life by anticipating, preventing and relieving these symptoms. Studies have shown that palliative care helps patients feel better and remain more active and independent while living with illnesses.
The palliative care program at Novant Health focuses on relieving our patients' pain, symptoms and stress that result from the progression of advanced diseases. Following a recommendation from a physician or nurse, palliative care is offered to patients while they are in the hospital. Through the Novant Health Hospice & Palliative Care nurse practitioner, patients may also be cared for after their release from the hospital, dependent on their specific needs.
The palliative care team includes the physician, registered nurses, medical social workers, a chaplain, dietician, and other specially trained staff members. Together, they address physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs to help the patient maintain the best quality of life. Staff members evaluate each patient and answer questions that patients and their caregivers have about the treatment options and medical care decisions that occur with life-threatening illnesses.
With the goal to improve quality of life, palliative care is appropriate at any point in a life-limiting illness and can be provided along with curative treatments - like chemotherapy and radiation. If you or a loved one are living with pain, have an age-related or progressive condition that prevents you doing the things you love the most or are limited in your ability to function on a daily basis due to a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Novant Health Palliative Care requires a referral from your doctor. A simple conversation can begin the process of assisting you with pain and symptom management, family decision-making and discharge planning.