Physical, emotional and spiritual burdens can negatively affect quality of life for patients and families facing serious illnesses. While our primary medical provider teams and specialists at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) provide expertise to treat and cure these illnesses, additional support is also available through consultation with our Supportive Care team.
What is Supportive Care?
Supportive Care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Who can receive Supportive Care?
Supportive Care is appropriate for patients at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided together with curative treatment.
Examples of conditions that may benefit from a Supportive Care consultation include:
- Congestive heart failure/cardiovascular disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema
- Liver disease/cirrhosis
- Stroke/dementia/neurologic disease
- Kidney failure
Who delivers Supportive Care?
At PCRMC, our dedicated Supportive Care team is comprised of a palliative care-trained physician, nurse practitioner, social worker and hospital chaplain who provide specialized expertise and an interdisciplinary approach to symptom management and coordination of care.
What Should You Expect from a Consultation with the Supportive Care Team?
During a consultation, members of the Supportive Care team meet with you and your loved ones to discuss medical care goals and needs as well as any physical, social, emotional and spiritual challenges. The Supportive Care team also coordinates with your primary and specialty care doctors to help ensure your individual care plan honors your goals, values and wishes.
How Do You Know if You or a Loved One May Benefit from Supportive Care?
Supportive Care can help manage symptoms of illnesses and side effects of treatments that may affect quality of life such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxiety or emotional distress
- Lack of appetite
What Can Supportive Care Help You or Someone Close to You Do?
- Match personal goals and values with medical care
- Understand the pros/cons of treatment choices
- Assist with decisions about medical treatment options
- Know what to expect from treatment
- Cope with the stress of a serious illness
- Know what programs and resources are available
- Talk with family members about the illness and personal preferences
- Find emotional, spiritual or religious support
- Assist with transitions between care settings
When Should You Consider Asking for Supportive Care?
- Symptoms have not improved within 1-2 days in the hospital
- Frequent emergency room visits
- Three or more admissions to the hospital with the same symptoms within 12 months
If you feel you or a loved one could benefit from a Supportive Care consultation while admitted to PCRMC, ask your doctor or specialist to make a referral.