Palliative Care and Hospice Care at Christian Hospital
palliative (pal•lee•a•tive) adj.
Relieving or soothing physical symptoms of a disease or disorder without striving for a cure

hospice (hos•pice) noun
A program that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their families

Both palliative care and hospice care focus on quality of life, and both provide comfort to a patient with an advanced disease; however, each type of care -- palliative and hospice -- is appropriate at different times during a person's illness.

Palliative Care

Palliative care should be brought in early during a patient's illness, while they are undergoing aggressive treatments. Palliative caregivers help manage symptoms, and work with the patient and family to set pain expectations and clarify recovery goals.

The Palliative Medicine team includes social workers,
chaplains, palliative care nurses and hospice nurses.

After an order requesting a consult is written by a treating physician, patients are seen by Melanie Mueth, MD. The multidisciplinary Palliative Medicine team includes
  • Palliative care nurse
  • Social worker
  • Chaplain
  • Hospice nurse

At Christian Hospital, palliative care:

  • Focuses on relief of the pain, stress and other debilitating symptoms of life-limiting illness
  • Is not dependent on the patient’s prognosis
  • Can be helpful at any time during a person's treatment
  • Can be provided with therapy aimed at curing or controlling a disease
  • Is the means with which to relieve suffering and provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families
  • Is focused on intensive symptom management, communication and coordination of care
  • Is not limited to end-of-life care or hospice care
  • Does not mean treatment must be reduced or stopped

Hospice Care

Hospice care becomes appropriate for patients who no longer desire aggressive treatments to find a cure for their condition, but instead, have chosen pain management and symptom management. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice serves the patient and family while supporting physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs.

Comfort Care Suite

The Comfort Care Suite is part of the 4th floor oncology unit, and is reserved for patients who are seriously ill, or who are enrolled in Christian Hospital’s palliative care program or hospice program.

The Comfort Care Suite features special, family-friendly accommodations, including:
  • Two private patient rooms
  • Adjoining family room and kitchen area
  • 24/7 access for loved ones
  • Friendly, home-like atmosphere
  • Table and chairs to use for eating, playing games, family meetings
  • Comfortable lounge chairs and recliners
  • Pull-out beds
  • Flat-screen TVs
The Comfort Care Suite was established thanks to the generosity of the Christian Hospital Foundation.