A major fear people have of dying is that they’ll be in pain. Hospice eases that fear by providing palliative care with an emphasis on pain control. The main objective is to relieve symptoms that interfere with one’s quality of life. Hospice manages emotional and spiritual pain in addition to physical pain. By using a combination of medications, counseling and therapy, hospice has a very high success rate of easing a patient’s pain. Some families worry about their loved ones being so drugged that they are unable to communicate or are unaware of what’s happening. Although this can happen, it’s rare. Fortunately, hospice nurses are capable of providing strong medications and high dosages that will provide comfort without impairing the patient’s alertness.
Hospice supports the Pain Care Bill of Rights, which states that as a person with pain, you have a right to:
- Have your report of pain taken seriously and to be treated with dignity and respect by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals.
- Have your pain thoroughly assessed and promptly treated.
- Be informed by your health care provider about what may be causing your pain, possible treatments, and the benefits, risks, and cost of each.
- Participate actively in decisions about how to manage your pain.
- Have your pain reassessed regularly and your treatment adjusted if your pain hasn’t been eased.
- Be referred to a pain specialist if your pain persists.
- Get clear and prompt answers to your questions, take time to make decisions, and refuse a particular type of treatment if you choose.
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