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The term Palliative Care is derived from the original Latin root word palliare meaning "to cloak." Palliative Care at Martha Jefferson is an integrated network of care that draws a cloak of support and comfort around the patient and his/her family. Martha Jefferson is operating under the following definition for Palliative Care through our
Palliative Care aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients with advanced illness and their families. Palliative Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team and offered in conjunction with all other appropriate forms of medical treatment, especially to support vigorous pain and symptom management.
Martha Jefferson has had such a team since early 2006. The current team includes an Advanced Practice Nurse, our Chaplain, and a Hospice of the Piedmont Palliative Care Consulting Physician and Nurse Practitioner. Working together, they provide palliative care support to inpatients and
It is important to realize that palliative care is not hospice care, which is offered near the end of a person's life. Instead its focus is improving quality of life for people receiving treatment intended to cure them or for people with chronic illnesses. Palliative care referrals are made by your physician.