Palliative care providing relief for patients

Palliative care providing relief for patients

If someone you know or love visits the hospital, often times there are several medical personnel who will examine them.

All of the incoming information from doctors and nurses can be quite overwhelming.

There is an emerging area of care looking to alleviate that stress, and create some clarity. It is called palliative care.

“It doesn't really try to do anything except look at a complicated situation and try to make it less complicated; and try to make it easier for the patient, and for their family and caregiver to navigate through the system and to come up with an outcome that is good for them,” says Dr. Elizabeth Mcinerney, palliative care services director with Mercy Medical Center.

For instance, someone who is very sick in the ICU will have several doctors checking on them, each one giving their own examination, and potentially their own diagnosis.

"They may have had a whole lot of different people coming in, all of them doing their own good job, but it can be very overwhelming, and it can be very siloed for the patient and for the family."

Doctor McInerney describes her role as an interpreter or a translator.

"I tell my patients that can speak doctor but I can also speak human being, and sometimes that is important and helpful for them."

While its name may be difficult to pronounce, palliative care is really just trying to make things easier for patients and their families while in the hospital.

"What we are there to do is to kind of pull this whole thing together for them."

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