Palliative care supports patients with
life-threatening, advanced progressive illnesses that can’t be
cured by conventional medicine. The specialty helps manage symptoms
and provide psychological, social and spiritual support, achieving
the best quality of life possible for patients and their families.
Many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in
the course of the illness, in conjunction with other
Working in palliative medicine
This specialty deals with people who have a
limited prognosis and involves managing sensitive communications
about death and dying on a daily basis. It is now widely recognised
that palliative care has a crucial role in the care received by
patients throughout the course of a disease, and should be
delivered in conjunction with anti-cancer and other treatments.
Palliative care aims to:
- provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- integrate the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient
- offer a support system to help patients live as actively as
possible until death
- help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their
- be applied early in the course of illness with other therapies
intended to prolong life.
Palliative and supportive care are often
provided by the patient’s family and other carers, and not
exclusively by specialists or professionals. However, palliative
medicine specialists will have specific expertise in complex
end-of-life and bereavement issues, unresolved symptoms and complex
psychosocial issues for patients with advanced diseases.
The specialty is evolving, and it is hoped
future developments will include:
- equality of access to palliative care across regions
- expansion of palliative care to those with incurable/chronic
- educational commitment to undergraduate and postgraduate
education in palliative medicine.
Common procedures / interventions
Common procedures and interventions
- setting up a syringe driver with appropriate medication for
- pleural aspiration.
Some less frequent procedures carried out
- urethral catheterisation
- TENS application
- passing nasogastric tubes.
Associated sub specialties
Paediatric palliative care is an associated
Just click the button below for more information