Palliative Care Clinic
About Palliative Care
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary approach to the care of persons with illnesses no longer responsive to curative treatment. The goal of palliative care is to achieve and sustain the highest quality of life for patients and their families by providing aggressive pain and symptom management, together with psychosocial and spiritual support to lessen suffering.
Who Receives Palliative Care Treatment?
People with any chronic medical condition, which most likely cannot be cured, can benefit from palliative care services. People who are receiving aggressive treatment for their diseases often experience side effects. These individuals can also receive palliative care services to assist with symptom management and to receive psychological, emotional, financial and spiritual support.
How is Palliative Care Different From Hospice Care?
Palliative care includes but is not limited to hospice care. Hospice can only provide services to people with a terminal disease who have less than six months life expectancy. People receiving hospice services can no longer receive treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, frequent blood transfusions, and certain medications. Palliative care does not share the same limitations as many hospice programs and can follow any person with a potentially life-limiting disease. If hospice care becomes appropriate at the end of life, the palliative care team will work with your local hospice agency to provide terminal care.
Who is My Doctor and Who is The Palliative Care Team?
Patients often keep their own doctor with the palliative care physician acting as a consultant. Some people choose the palliative care physician to manage their care when symptom management and/or end-of-life care is the main focus. The palliative care team includes nurses, a social worker, a chaplain and, if needed, physical, occupational or speech therapists.
What Services Can You Offer Me?
We see patients in our outpatient clinics at the UVA Cancer Center on the 4th Floor of the Hospital West Complex. The palliative care team also sees inpatients by providing consults throughout the hospital or in our dedicated Palliative Care Unit. Some of our patients remain at home and are followed by their local hospice program.
Is It Possible To Die With Dignity?
PBS has produced a four-part series on dying with dignity. To learn more about this series that aired in September 2000 and how to order a videotape, please visit www.pbs.org/wnet/onourownterms/
Palliative Care Inpatient Unit
The Palliative Care Inpatient Unit is a seven-bed dedicated inpatient unit where patients requiring acute symptom management are cared for by the palliative care team. Care is provided for physical symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulty, and infection, as well as for emotional, social and spiritual needs. Patients who are actively dying can also spend their last days on the unit and receive the support of the staff. Families are welcome to stay 24 hours a day and there is no age limit for visitors.
We see patients in the new Emily Couric Cancer Center. To make an appointment, please phone 434-924-9333. When you reach the operator at the Emily Couric Cancer Center, tell them you need to make an appointment with the Palliative Care team.
The palliative care team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have an emergency and need to reach us after business hours, please call the University operator at 434-924-0000 and ask them to page the palliative care doctor on call.
Palliative Care Consults
If you are a health care provider and would like to arrange for a palliative care consult, please call the University operator at 434-924-0000 and ask to have the Palliative Care Consult Team paged at #1539.
Palliative Care Online Resources