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Blog: Hospice Views

Who Is The Green Team?

undefinedOne great thing about Crossroads hospice is the “team” approach to the delivery of care.

In any other healthcare setting, the patients’ care is decided upon by a physician, and  other healthcare professionals then follow that doctors orders. This model of care almost always focuses on the physical ailments of the patient and is designed to “cure” the patients’ illnesses or reduce and/or eliminate the symptoms associated with the disease.

While Crossroads Hospice also utilizes physicians, namely the attending physicianof the patient and Crossroads Hospice’s Medical Director, these two physicians are only part of an all-encompassing team. At Crossroads, the director of the care plan is the patient. Nothing is done – no treatments, no medication – that doesn’t follow the patients’ wishes. At Crossroads Hospice, we recognize that physical ailments or discomfort are only part of the picture, and many times a patients’ pain cannot be brought under control unless the mental and spiritual issues are addressed. Therefore, the team at Crossroads Hospice must be able to handle all aspects of care for any patient.

Joining the two physicians mentioned above and, to a great extent, the patient themselves (although not physically attending team meetings); we have nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains, volunteer coordinators, and Grief Recovery Specialists. The nurses and nursing assistants follow the teams’ direction for the physical care of the patient. This would include all daily activities (bathing, eating, dressing, etc.), and also assistance with medication administration and treatments. The nurses focus on the patients’ needs and their responses to all of the interventions directed by the team. Highly trained, the nurse or case manager is basically the teams’ responsible party for the patients’ overall care, and is able to effectively communicate new developments and outcomes to the team.

We recognize that a care plan that only focuses on the physical ailments would only be one third complete, so we also have a social worker focusing on the mental state of the patient. Think about depression, anxiety, feelings of loss, not to mention planning for what happens after the patient is gone.

Spiritual care makes up the final third of the care plan. We are able to work with any religious belief systems, often teaming up with the patients’ own spiritual leader, since Crossroads Hospice doesn’t prescribe to any denomination. It is important to meet the patients’ where they are spiritually, and then to precede in a direction towards patient spiritual comfort, relief, and joy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was able to leave this world peaceful, without fear, and comfortable with their spiritual decisions? That would be the ultimate goal in the third part of the plan of care.

Often overlooked in other settings is the role of volunteers. Our patients and families automatically understand that a volunteer is there simply because they want to help. How fantastic to have someone there to read with, talk with, or simply hold a hand. By wanting to help and expecting nothing in return, these magnificent people are able to elevate our plans of care to something beyond clinical, and past the physical, mental, and spiritual.

These plans of care don’t end with the patient. Our plans also involve the familymembers and their well-being, throughout their loved-ones time with Crossroads. All families and their feelings are considered during the course of treatment, and after the patient has passed away, another team member steps in. Our Grief Recovery Specialists are actively involved with family members who are suffering from loss of their loved one and are trained in helping people cope. These “sessions” can be done individually or in a group and are an essential part of any patients’ or families involvement with Crossroads Hospice.

Utilizing this team approach is really the only way Crossroads Hospice is able to meet the needs of our patients and their families and loved ones.