MEDICAL MONDAY: Palliative Care

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A fairly new medical specialty, as well as a whole system of philosophy and care, known as ‘Palliative Care,’ has made its way to Siouxland.

It is aimed at helping the most seriously ill and complicated patients in the hospitals system, have better patient experiences.

It covers physical pain, nausea, loss of appetite, depression and anxiety.

It also covers things such as: coping, spiritual stress, relationships, healthcare decisions and smooth transitions.

According to Mercy experts, ‘Palliative Care’ has no “cookie-cutter” cases, every patient is different.

When patients are in the hospital and hear many versions of what’s going on with them, they often get confused, that is where, Palliative care team  members come in.

“It is my job, sometimes, to just walk in and try to make sure I have a very good understanding, not just of the current medical issues, but also the patient and who that person is and what their back ground is,” said Dr. Elizabeth McInerney, Palliative Care Services Director at Mercy Hospital in Sioux City.

Once all the information is taken into account, Dr. McInerney says, they spend as much time needed to help find the best solutions for the patients they’re working with.

“A lot of times we stay with the patient until the end of the hospitalization because many of these things, no matter what the outcome of the hospitalization, cause many of these things just do not go away,” said Dr. McInerney. “There is ongoing sources of concern and things that we can help with.”

Dr. McInerney says, they can see between 2 to 12 patients at a time.

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