The Palliative Care Specialist (PCS) assesses the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of the patient including pain and symptom management at all stages of the chronic disease process. The PCS educates patients and families regarding their diagnosis and disease progression, engages patients and families in goals-of-care conversations, assists in completion of advance directives, shares advance directives with other providers involved in the patient’s care, works with the patient’s providers to manage symptoms and coordinate a plan of care.
- Receives, reviews, and follows-up on palliative care referrals.
- Consults with collaborative physician, consulting practitioner(s), primary care physician and other specialist physicians as appropriate.
- Collaborates with care coordination providers including patient care facilitators, social workers, discharge specialists, and hospice as appropriate.
- Completes a palliative care assessment including diagnosis, chief compliant, PMH, physical symptoms, medications, psychosocial/cultural assessment, and educational needs.
- Assists patients and their families (as appropriate) in understanding their diagnoses, treatment options and the resources available.
- Assesses and develops interventions to alleviate symptom distress commonly associated with advanced illness and end-of-life care, e.g., nausea, vomiting, dyspnea, pain, weakness, fatigue, anorexia, confusion, anxiety, depression, constipation, etc.
- Works collaboratively with patients and their family caregivers, physicians, supervisors and other staff to facilitate effective transitions from one care setting to another.
- Documents all interactions accurately and in a timely manner in the electronic medical record
- Assists in quality improvement processes when appropriate
- Participates in palliative care education for the interdisciplinary team members involved in the care of patients as needed.
- Provides consultation to unit managers and staff nurses for complex patient care and family situations.
- Conducts patient and family meetings with the members of the interdisciplinary team to discuss the goals of care, assist with decision making and advance care planning, determine care preferences, and develop patient-centered care plans.
- Engages pastoral care, ethics, case management, social work, pharmacy, nutrition and other specialties as needed to address the complex needs of palliative care patients.
- Provides patient, family and community education on the goals and resources for Palliative Care as needed
- Performs other related work as required or requested.
- Baccalaureate in nursing required, master’s degree in nursing preferred
- Current licensure as a Registered Nurse in the State of Illinois required.
- Certification in hospice and palliative care nursing highly desired
- Five years’ experience in hospital nursing, medical-surgical or critical care nursing required.
- Two years nursing experience in palliative care, hospice, geriatrics or additional expertise that aligns with the needs of the seriously ill population
- Knowledge of end-of-life care, including advance care planning, symptom management, and bereavement care preferred