The Hospice is an organization, like First Call, that is certified by the state and federal governments to provide a plan of care that a team of professionals and experts will use to make sure that the patient is as pain and stress free as possible. The hospice works as a team to help not just the patient, but the patient’s family and caregivers as well.
The doctor plays a key role in the hospice process by diagnosing, evaluating and working with the hospice team to craft a plan of care for each individual patient. Patients retain their own family doctor, and also utilize the expertise of the First Call Hospice Medical Director. Together the doctors have a crucial role in helping the patient be free of pain.
The nurse is a key member of the team, coordinating the medical care and medications that are necessary to keep a patient comfortable and pain free. The nurse also teaches and educates the family and other caregivers about the dying process and how best to care for the physical needs of the patient.
The Social Worker is a trained professional who helps the patient and the family with the nonmedical needs that arise during the course of patient care. The Social Worker also evaluates and helps the patient and family deal with the emotional and psychosocial needs of the patient and family. The Social Worker also assists with final arrangements and can make referrals for community resources as deemed appropriate by the patient and family.
A Chaplain is a non denominational professional, trained in helping patients, families and caregivers to maintain spiritual peace and strength during the process of the patient’s illness and death. Chaplains are trained to evaluate where the patient, family and caregivers are in their journey, and to provide the necessary spiritual tools. They do not dictate how or when the process happens in a person’s life, but rather are there to support, comfort and heal spiritual distress.
The hospice aide is the professional who helps the patient with everyday tasks that are associated with staying as healthy as possible during this time – things like bathing, dressing and maintaining personal hygiene during the course of care.