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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Personal Choices About Your Healthcare

Issues Surrounding Critical Illness

​When facing a life-threatening illness, we go beyond advanced medical treatments and offer compassionate care to help you and your family members cope. This service is called supportive palliative care.

Our supportive palliative care services help you face the complex physical, psychological, social and spiritual problems that often accompany advanced illness. The ​supportive palliative care team includes physicians, nurses, chaplains, occupational therapists, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, speech therapists, music practitioners and volunteers. These dedicated team members are trained to help you with the issues you may face in dealing with a critical illness.

In addition to your regular medical treatment, supportive palliative care team members help determine a care plan that meets your wants and needs, including management of pain and other symptoms, counseling and spiritual support, and other therapies. This is available to any inpatient facing a serious or life-threatening illness and their family members at their request or at the request of your primary physician.

The supportive palliative care consultation service is hospital-based and different from hospice. You may continue to receive treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, while also working with the supportive palliative care team. If you do not respond to treatment designed to cure your condition or send it into remission, our team will assist you, your family members and physician with the transition to hospice if desired.

Supportive Palliative Care Consultation

There may come a time when you or a member of your family is seriously injured or becomes gravely ill. In the midst of your shock and grief, you may be asked to make difficult decisions about the intensity of medical care administered, or whether life-support systems should be used or withdrawn.

It is important for you to learn about the levels and types of medical care available, your or your family member's health status and prognosis, and to discuss the treatment with which you would feel comfortable before you or your family member need to make these decisions.

Supportive Palliative care consultation is available only upon request of the attending physician. If you would like a palliative care consultation at Baylor Scott & White Health, please ask your physician or nurse to contact us.

Supportive Palliative Care Services

Please Note: Not all services may be available at each of our locations.

Supportive Palliative Care Chaplain Services

Supportive Palliative care chaplains offer support for patients nearing the end of life. Learn more about spiritual care services.

Supportive Palliative Care Child Life Services

Child life specialists provide support for children of seriously ill or injured adults. Our child life specialists work with adults to help them understand questions and concerns that children have when an important person in their life is seriously ill. They also help adults understand the behavioral changes and signs of stress in their children.

Supportive Palliative Care Individual and Family Counseling

Our team can help you and your family members in your struggle to make sense out of your experience dealing with illness. Our team members have listening and basic counseling skills and, if necessary can refer you to internal or external resources with advanced counseling skills.

Supportive Palliative Care Music Services

Music can often offer soothing comfort for patients nearing the end of life. Studies have shown music can favorably affect the immune system, reduce muscle tension and help relieve pain.

Supportive Palliative Care Nutrition and Speech Therapy

Specially trained dietitians and speech language pathologists can work with palliative care patients to ease swallowing difficulties, provide nutrition evaluations and information about artificial nutrition (feeding tubes) and hydration, as needed.

Supportive Palliative Care Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can benefit patients facing life-threatening illnesses by helping them live as fully as possible. Specially trained occupational therapists use traditional therapies and complementary techniques to help reduce pain and anxiety.

Supportive Palliative Care Social Work Services

Social workers on the palliative care team help patients and their family members access resources during the hospital stay and after discharge. They also offer individual counseling, group support, assistance with the transition in places of care, help adjusting to the illness and advocacy for the patient.

Treatment of Pain

Each person who suffers from an advanced illness has different symptoms and levels of pain. Our team works with you to determine your level of suffering – physical, psychological, social or spiritual. We help you, your family members and medical treatment team manage all aspects of your pain so you may live as fully as possible.

Post-Hospital Care Planning

The supportive palliative care team is primarily an acute care hospital-based service; however, we can provide information and help coordinate care with various after-hospital programs including home care, care in another facility or hospice care as appropriate.

Supportive Palliative Care Bereavement Support

When a death occurs, the members of the supportive palliative care team work with the pastoral care department to provide professional and compassionate care to those struggling with the loss. Chaplains and members of the patient's medical team are available 24 hours a day to answer questions and provide spiritual and emotional support.

Supportive Palliative Care End-of-Life Care Planning Assistance

The supportive palliative care team supports you and your family during the time of final transition. We help you determine choices for end-of-life medical care and whether or not life-sustaining treatments should continue. Even if certain medical treatments may be withdrawn, our caring and compassion never end.

Doula Program

If you are at the end of your life's journey, we want to be sure you have someone to be there to support you. Our Doula Program at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health provides trained volunteers who will offer you support, comfort and a presence as you approach the end of life.

This can be of special importance to patients when family or friends are not available for any reason.

For more information about the Doula Program or to volunteer on the Dallas campus, please call 214.820.6851.

Memorials and Gifts

Memorials and gifts are a way to honor or remember your loved one. There are several ways you can make a donation to one of our foundations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Supportive Palliative Care FAQs

This section of our web site is designed to help you better understand these issues.

View FAQs

Supportive Palliative Care Forms

Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it’s important for all adults to have an advance care plan for healthcare. It’s a smart thing to do.

View Advance Directive Information

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