Step 3: Meet the Palliative Care Team
The palliative care team will spend a lot of time with you and your family. They will assess your pain level and other symptoms. They will discuss and explain all of your treatment options. And above all, they will explore your goals and wishes so that they can help you match treatments to your goals.
But what should you ask the team during the meeting? Here are some suggestions:
- What can I expect from palliative care?
- Where will my care be provided (e.g., in the hospital, home, nursing home, hospice)?
- Who is on the palliative care team?
- What are your recommendations for my care?
- What decisions need to be made by either my family or me?
- Will you help explain my treatment choices and the issues involved in making these decisions?
- Will you communicate openly and candidly with my family and me about my illness?
- Will you continue to be involved in my care when I am in the hospital (if you are an outpatient).
- Will you continue to be involved in my care when I am discharged from the hospital?
- How will you work with and communicate with my other doctors?
- What will you do if I experience severe pain or other symptoms?
- What support will you provide to my family and/or caregivers?
- Will you still be available to me throughout my illness?
- How can I reach you?
- What resources do you recommend for me to learn more about palliative care?
Clinician Corner: The Importance of the Family Meeting