Collaboration is critical for quality hospice care

Clinical associates play a vital role in the education and support of hospice patients.

Since hospice patients have a wide range of diagnoses and requirements, an interdisciplinary approach is utilized in order to address all aspects of a patient's condition as well as the needs of the entire family.

The hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) can consist of many types of clinicians with a wide range of responsibilities including the following:

Medical directors: oversee care provided by the team and consult the patient's doctor, as needed.

Nurses: provide skilled nursing services that include in-depth patient assessment, pain and symptom management, and treatments directed by the patient's attending physician.

Home health aides: provide personal care - one of the most valuable services available to hospice patients and their family members.

Social workers: assist patients and families with navigating the sometimes overwhelming issues surrounding end-of-life care. They provide emotional support, connect patients and families with community resources and assist with financial concerns.

Chaplains: offer spiritual care to patients and families at their request.

Volunteers: provide emotional support, socialization and services to families.