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St. John's celebrates National Homecare, Hospice and Palliative Care Month

by St. John's Lutheran Hospital
| November 4, 2009 11:00 PM

November is National Homecare, Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and St. John’s Lutheran Hospital will be celebrating the month with its Home Health and Hospice Department.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization theme this year is “Preserving a Legacy … Treasuring Memories” to celebrate that fact that hospice helps to bring comfort, relief of symptoms, dignity and peace to help people with terminal diagnoses lead full lives, living every moment to the fullest and leaving loved ones with memories to treasure and appreciate.

Hospice and palliative medication management is said to be the “ICU of homecare.” Hospice nurses must be very well trained as they have to accurately and adequately take care of pain and other symptoms, changing and measuring the concentration of medication to ensure the patient is comfortable as well as aware and alert.

“There are some people who think of homecare as being less challenging than acute hospital care; however, the clinicians who are out in the field must have a wide array of knowledge and expert clinical assessment skills, as they are frequently the eyes and ears for the physician in a very dynamic environment in which the nurse has little control,” said Sheree Comer, SJLH Home Health and Hospice Department manager. “Our entire team is exceptional, and in all of my experience I have never met a group of people in which everyone is so passionate about what they do. All of the staff is focused on the same goal – making patients as comfortable and healthy as possible while maintaining dignity and preserving the patients’ rights and wishes.”

“Homecare fills a definite need within our communities to help with restorative care, assessments, and skilled treatment for patients who are homebound, as well as hospice care for terminally ill individuals,” said Cathy Wolfe, vice president of Nursing Services at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital. “It allows our patients to be in their own homes where they feel comfortable, and can enjoy their family members while care is provided to them. This month of celebration allows us to raise awareness within our communities, celebrate our accomplishments, honor colleagues, and remember our patients and their families.”

For more information about the St. John’s Lutheran Hospital Home Health and Hospice Services, call 293-0180.