Hospice care is provided through an interdisciplinary, medically directed team. This team approach to care for dying persons typically includes a physician, a nurse, a home health aide, a social worker, a chaplain, and a volunteer.
The hospice nurse makes regularly scheduled visits to the patient providing expert pain management and symptom control techniques. Throughout the time that the patient is under the care of hospice, the nurse keeps the primary physician informed of the patient’s condition. Nurses provide the complete spectrum of skilled nursing care and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Home health aides provide assistance with the personal care of the patient.
Social workers provide assistance with practical and financial concerns as well as emotional support, counseling and bereavement follow-up. They evaluate the need for volunteers and other support services needed by the family and facilitate communication between the family and community agencies.
Chaplains provide spiritual support to patients and families, often serving as a liaison between them and their religious community. Chaplains often assist with memorial services and funeral arrangements.