The essence of palliative care is improving the quality of life of people living with serious illness. If palliative care and life prolonging care are given at the same time, and if life prolonging care is no longer effective in reaching the goals of the patient and family, then palliative care is intensified. Palliative care encourages people to reflect on what is important to them in their lives so that their choices and values can be integrated into their healthcare treatment plan.
When someone is facing serious illness, physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns arise, because people and health and illness are complicated. To treat the whole person an interdisciplinary palliative care team at UWMC addresses all aspects of a person and situation. Thus, the UWMC palliative care team consists of nurse practitioners, social workers, chaplain, ethicist, pharmacists, physicians, operations manager, hospital administrators, nurses, and soon, a physician assistant and nurse coordinator. We work with the health care team directly caring for patients and families, and all other disciplines of health care clinicians including nurses, therapists, and specialists. We are consultants providing the highest quality and coordinated care so that patients and families are at the center of their care.