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Palliative Medicine

Palliative & Support Medicine

How we help

A patient, family member or healthcare professional may request a palliative medicine consultation at any time following the diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening or incurable illness. The purpose of the consult can be to:

  • Manage symptoms, including pain, nausea and shortness of breath
  • Discuss and help develop goals of care
  • Discuss prognosis and treatment options
  • Assist with advance directive and CPR discussions and decisions
  • Develop home, hospice or nursing home plan of care
  • Work with care management and other providers in the overall support for the patient and family

Geisinger’s Palliative team is experienced in the compassionate care of patients with potentially life-limiting advanced illness including severe infections or trauma; heart, lung, liver, kidney or neurologic disease; and cancer. We can develop regimens for the aggressive treatment of symptoms associated with these illnesses. We can work with other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive symptom management. We can assist with formulating healthcare goals compatible with a patient’s desires when a disease is incurable.

Palliative and supportive medicine differs from hospice care and can occur much earlier.  Palliative medicine consults are ideally initiated while a patient is undergoing active treatments for his or her medical illness. If hospice services are determined to be desirable for the patient and family, we can assist with appropriate referral and subsequent management for the patient.

In short, we provide coordination of care, optimal symptom management, educational resources, family and emotional support. We understand the struggle.

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