HealthWise: Palliative Care Month

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital is highlighting Palliative Care Month to bring awareness to what it is and how it can improve the quality of life of those with serious illnesses.

In order to reach that goal of improving quality of life, the Palliative care team works to help patients manage symptoms, discuss goals and values, and clearly communicate between specialists and patients and their families.

"But we try to have a holistic view of the person and understand all aspects of their life,” Peggy Bishop, Nurse Practitioner in Palliative care, said. “Not just this sick person, in this bed, at this moment, but really who they are in the world and what's important to them."

Palliative care is made up of a team of specialists including a social worker, spiritual support and a massage therapist who all work together to meet the person's needs and make them more comfortable during their stay.

"For example, pain management techniques that are maybe a little outside of the box and not traditional. For anybody out there who's had to live with pain and have that managed and controlled and really allows you to participate in your life more,” Bishop said.

Bishop says that acknowledging Palliative Care Month is important because it is a service that you do not have to wait to take advantage of.

It can be helpful to anyone at any point in their illness feel better and enjoy their life.

"We're not hospice. We're a little bit different from that,” Bishop said. “We can see people at any time, pursuing any kind of treatments and, again, promote quality of life in the midst of all that."

For more information on Palliative care at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, check the Related Links box.

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