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Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Frank Davis
In the hospice industry, interdisciplinary teams sometimes referred to as multidisciplinary team, serve a number of important functions. The purpose of hospice care is to deal with the physical and emotional concerns associated with dying, to provide pain and symptom management, to assist patients and their families in grieving for their lost loved one.
In addition, the hospice interdisciplinary team provides medications and medical equipment, provides family members and friends with grief counseling in the aftermath of the patient’s death, and instructs them on how to best care for their loved one. The interdisciplinary team also makes short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become unmanageable at home or when the caregiver needs respite time.
The aim of this article is to clarify who the hospice interdisciplinary team is and what their role is within the hospice setting.
Who are the members of the hospice interdisciplinary team?
The core hospice interdisciplinary team members is comprised of:
- Physician – A hospice patient often receives care from the patient’s regular doctor, who works in conjunction with the hospice medical director in providing care to the patient.
- Nurse – Hospice patients receive two or three visits a week from their dedicated case manager nurse, who makes sure that their needs are met. An on-call nurse is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide medical assistance to hospice patients and their families.
- Social Worker – To assist patients with their emotional and social needs, a social worker will be assigned to the patients in order to provide them with support.
- Chaplain – The role of the hospice chaplain can serve as a source of spiritual guidance as well as to relieve some of the burdens that families are facing during their grieving process.
The non core hospice interdisciplinary team members are:
- Physical therapists – In order to enable a patient to be able to move freely as well as to reduce pain, restore function, and avoid further disability, a physical therapist will develop a treatment plan taking into account numerous methods.
- Occupational therapists – They work with clients to identify life roles and activities that are meaningful to them, and then they help them to overcome the obstacles hindering the performance of these activities.
- Speech language Pathologists – A speech language pathologist’s primary concern is dealing with swallowing issues that are prevalent among patients who are closing in on the end of their lives. A speech language pathologist may also focus on enabling communication skills among patients.
- Home health aides – A lot of home health aides assist the patients with personal care and visit patients two to three times a week to ensure that they are safe and comfortable.
- Volunteers – Volunteer hospice workers provide support to patients on a wide variety of levels, including comfort, preparing meals, and running errands.
In general, hospice interdisciplinary team members visit patients between twice a week and more frequently if necessary. Among the members of an interprofessional team are physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers. Among the many other members of an integrative team, health aides, bereavement counsellors, dieticians, and pharmacists are also often important contributors.
If you have any questions regarding who the hospice interdisciplinary team members are, please call Hospice Valley of Los Angeles at (818)433-0068.
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