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General Purpose of the DepartmentAs we have learned the hospice idea is not new Literally meaning givento hospitality hospices provided comfort kindness and nourishment topeople in need hundreds of years ago Today hospices offer comfort to peopleas they near the end of lifes journeyHospice is a special way of caring for people with terminal illnesses andtheir families It is a multidisciplinary health care program that is responsiblefor palliative and supportive care with consideration of the patients andfamilies wishes Hospice focuses on care not cureHospice care is important because it provides many benefits that arent possiblein a traditional acute or long-term health care setting Within hospicethe family of the patient is directly involved in making decisions and helpingtheir loved one Hospice also gives the patient to have a great amount ofcontrol by deciding where they want to spend the rest of their lives Itcan also help make choices about advanced directives which we will discussshortlyMajor Functions of the DepartmentHospice is a very unique department because it truly looks at the big pictureand treats a spectrum of patient needs equally Special attention is giventoPhysical needs - this is the first and foremost function Within hospiceyou are dealing with a patient that has been given a diagnosis of having6 months or less to live For many patients relieving pain through medicationis an important part of hospice care I have provided you with a list ofways that patients are made more comfortable A goal of hospice it to helppatients use their physical abilities as fully as possibleSocial Needs - Sometimes little things make all the difference to peopleAlthough these patients may not be as active as before their illness youcan see on your handout a list of things that they probably still enjoyHospice can help to make these things happen as well as provide assistancewith practical issues like putting finances in orderEmotional Needs Hospice can help patients cope with loneliness isolationand the fear of being abandoned This is outlined
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