There are many misconceptions about the provision of palliative care in the US. Palliative Care roundtable chair Helen Sorenson discusses the timing of palliation, necessary patient assessments, and the respiratory therapist’s role in palliative care-from admission to discharge. This presentation also provides practical steps for respiratory therapists to engage in the palliative care team at their facility.
"The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. Palliative care is both a philosophy of care and an organized, highly structured system for delivering care. Palliative care expands traditional disease-model medical treatments to include the goals of enhancing quality of life for patient and family, optimizing function, helping with decision making, and providing opportunities for personal growth. As such, it can be delivered concurrently with life-prolonging care or as the main focus of care" (NCP, 2004).