Our Palliative Care Program offers support to patients and their families members both in the inpatient setting at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center along with in the outpatient setting. Our team consists of nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacy, chaplaincy, and social work.
Wake Forest Baptist Palliative Care specialists are committed to improving the quality of life for patients confronted with serious illnesses. Working closely with the patient’s primary doctor and specialist, we provide coordinated care consisting of:
- Symptom management
- Inpatient palliative care services
- Outpatient palliative care services for patients with cancer
- Social services support
- Physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and emotional support
- In-depth discussion with patients about their condition and their treatment options
To receive help from our palliative care team, please ask your doctor for a referral. We are available to provide you with assistance either in the hospital or in clinic. Our hospital services and outpatient programs are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance plans.
Learn about our one-year fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care.
Inpatient Consultation Services
When a patient, physician, or family member requests supportive and palliative care services, professionals from our Palliative Care team meet with the patient and his or her family. We evaluate each patient's needs specific to his or her illness or injury, and work closely with their doctor or treating physician to establish a plan of care consistent with the patient's and/or family’s goals and values.
Palliative Care consultants in the hospital may include:
- Specialized physicians and nurse practitioners
- Palliative care resource nurses
- Social workers
- Pastoral care counselors
We work closely with the family to understand their feelings about the patient's illness and help them cope with other psychosocial, spiritual and financial concerns. We see the patient and communicate with the family throughout the course of the patient’s hospitalization. If needed, we may also assist with continuing care upon discharge and connecting the patient and family with community resources.
The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist has committed to integrate palliative care into outpatient cancer therapy. This enables cancer patients who receive treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation to see a palliative medicine practitioner at the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Patients do not need to be "end-stage" to receive or benefit from palliative care. Specific goals are to alleviate spiritual, physical and emotional suffering. Palliative care can relieve common treatment side effects, such as fatigue and neuropathy (nerve pain), which can interfere with everyday functioning. It also can address emotional issues, such as the loss of identity that can come from not being able to work full-time or be physically active.
Our goal is to provide a safe haven for patients and their families to express emotions and discuss issues they are dealing with in the face of illness. Numerous recent studies have shown that the addition of palliative care to usual cancer care reduces symptoms and improves survival.
If you would like to be seen in our outpatient supportive care oncology clinic, please have your doctor call 336-713-5440 to set up an appointment.
Hospice is an important Medicare benefit (also most insurances have a hospice benefit) that provides care to improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients who have less than 6 months to live. Patients who receive hospice care are also no longer receiving curative treatment for their underlying disease.
Our Supportive and Palliative Care program coordinates with all the local hospices and can help with the coordination if hospice care is need for our patients.
Hospice Care References
For more information on hospice care, view the following links: