When a patient enters hospice care, who actually provides the care? The hospice care team is a full, interdisciplinary team including fully trained and certified nurses, aides, counselors and more. While it may be confusing at first as to which roles these team members play, they all fulfill vital needs within the scope of hospice care.
Physician – Every hospice team is overseen by a physician or medical director. This leader will closely monitor the patient’s illness, medications and care direction throughout the duration of care. The medical director physician may also work with the patient’s preferred doctor.
Nurse – Specially skilled, nurses are both caregivers and links between the hospice team, the patient and the family. They provide regular care for the comfort of the patient as well as the family. They also help the family to give the best possible support and care to the hospice patient
Aide – Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) also known as home health aides, they provide personal care to the patient such as help with feeding and grooming. These aides specially tend to the more sensitive and personal needs of the hospice patient in a kind and gentle manner.
Social Worker – Kind and listening, this part of the team helps tend to the emotional and social needs of the patient and their loved ones. They also help those in their care by providing access to community resources and assistance, such as transportation and financial aid. The social worker also handles the logistics of insurance, Medicare and other financial methods so that the family doesn’t have to.
Volunteer – A crucial piece of the hospice team, volunteers serve in many roles. They can provide compassion and companionship to hospice patients and their families. Often they will lend a helping hand through pet therapy, music therapy and story sharing with the hospice patient. Additionally, they provide support to the caregivers as needed.
Chaplain – In such a sensitive time as hospice care, it is natural for patients and their loved ones to seek spiritual guidance, in whatever capacity they choose. Hospice chaplains are there to honor and uphold the patient’s cultural and religious values while offering spiritual guidance in this difficult time. They will also work with leaders and clergy of the patient’s own faith, as requested.
Bereavement Counselor – A bereavement specialist is available for the family during and after a patient’s time with hospice. They are trained and skilled in providing individual counseling and support for over a year after the patient’s passing. Regular contact, education and support groups are just some of the ways bereavement counselors help guide the bereaved through this transition.
Bridgeway Hospice is very proud of all of the members of our hospice teams and works consistently to help them grow while bringing the best service to you and your family.