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Palliative & Hospice Nursing : Home

What Hospice Care Entails

Hospice care focuses on bringing comfort, self-respect, and tranquility to people in the final stages of life.  Patients’ symptoms and pain are controlled, goals of care are discussed and emotional needs are supported.

  • Hospice is not a place. It is a special kind of healthcare focused on keeping the patient comfortable once the patient and physician have decided that the underlying disease can no longer be treated or cured.
  • Hospice helps the patient, their families, and other caregivers and hospice care can occur in a variety of settings. It neither hastens nor postpones death and is focused on the belief that quality of life is as important as length of life.
  • Hospice staff members help manage pain and symptoms and provide emotional and spiritual support so patients can make the most of each day

Hospice believes that the end of life is not a medical experience, it is a human experience that benefits from expert medical and holistic support that hospice offers. The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century.

What Palliative Care Entails

While palliative care may seem to offer a broad range of services, the goals of palliative treatment are concrete: relief from suffering, treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, psychological and spiritual care, a support system to help the individual live as actively as possible, and a support system to sustain and rehabilitate the individual's family.

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten nor to postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families;
  • will enhance quality of life;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Who does Palliative Care Benefit?

Cambia Health Solutions, Inc.

History of Palliative Care

Other search terms to consider

Palliative and Hospice care can be cataloged in databases or books by a number of different terms: death and dying, end-of-life, hospice care, terminal care, palliative care, palliative treatment, right to die, or palliative medicine.
Current statistics of hospice and palliative care can be found at: