Serious health issues can cause all kinds of difficulties for patients, including pain, spiritual or emotional suffering and other symptoms that can interfere with their lives. While primary care physicians and specialists focus on treating diseases, Supportive Care at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) adds an extra layer of support to help improve patients’ quality of life.
What is Supportive Care?
Supportive Care is specialized, interdisciplinary care that focuses on the quality of life for patients and their families facing serious illness. Supportive Care at PCRMC is accomplished through advanced symptom management, communication and coordination of care.
Who can receive Supportive Care?
Supportive Care can be provided to patients with chronic, progressive illnesses at any time from diagnosis onward. While this may include end-of-life care, it is not exclusive to it.
Examples of conditions that may benefit from a Supportive Care consultation include:
- Congestive heart failure/heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema
- Liver disease/cirrhosis
Who delivers Supportive Care?
Supportive Care is delivered by a highly-trained team that can include palliative care doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, nutritionists, occupational and physical therapists, and other specialists.
At PCRMC, our dedicated Supportive Care team is comprised of a physician, nurse practitioner, social worker and chaplain who work together in conjunction with your primary care provider and hospital staff to ensure high-quality care and clear communication.
How can Supportive Care help manage symptoms?
Supportive Care can help manage illness-related symptoms as well as potential side effects of treatments that can affect patients’ quality of life. These may include the following:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxiety or emotional distress
- Lack of appetite
What can patients expect with Supportive Care?
Supportive Care team members assist patients with matching their goals and values with the appropriate care or treatment for their disease as well as address any physical, social, emotional and spiritual challenges they may face. PCRMC’s Supportive Care team also works with patients’ primary care providers and specialists to help promote clear communication.
In addition, Supportive Care can help patients or their loved ones:
- Cope with the stress of a serious illness
- Understand the pros and cons of treatment choices
- Translate medical terminology
- Make decisions about medical treatment options
- Help formulate and identify what questions to ask
- Know what programs and resources are available
- Assist with transitions between care settings
- Talk with the patients’ family about their illness and what is important to them
- Find emotional, spiritual or religious support
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.