Christian is excited about the quality of patient care Cleveland residents will receive. She said, “Many Hospice organizations are for profit, we are not. Our profits go to the patients.
“Each year we provide over $500,000 in nonreimbursed care. We turn no one away including the homeless. Grief and bereavement counselors follow the caretaker and their families for 13 months after a death. Bereavement services are also open to the community.
“Each patient has a team of workers dedicated to their care including a board certified physician, registered nurse, hospice aide, social worker, bereavement counselor, chaplain, and volunteers.
“A quality that sets us apart is that our physicians make house calls and we are the only Hospice in this area with a pediatric and perinatal program,” Christian added.
Myths and Facts written by Hospice of Chattanooga, Inc. were presented as follows:
Myth — Hospice is only for patients with terminal cancer.
Fact — Hospice is for all patients who have a terminal diagnosis including, but not limited to: cancer, end —stage cardiac, lung or kidney disease, end —stage Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Myth — Patients must be actively dying in order to be admitted to Hospice.
Fact — The admitting criteria for Hospice is: a physician must certify that a patient has a terminal diagnosis, the patient and/or caregiver has chosen comfort measures rather than aggressive treatment for the Hospice diagnosis.
Myth — Hospice patients must give up their primary care physician.
Fact — Hospice of Chattanooga/Cleveland encourages the patient’s primary care physician to remain involved in the Patient’s care.
Myth — Once admitted to Hospice, a patient can no longer return to the hospital.
Fact — Once a patient is admitted to Hospice, the Hospice team becomes responsible for his/her overall management. However, there may be times that hospitalization is required for symptom management for hospice or non —hospice related medical issues. Hospitalization is always done with the permission of the patient and/or caregiver.
Myth — A patient cannot live alone and receive Hospice services.
Fact — The Hospice team works to support the patient’s independence and desire to maintain their current place of residence. The Hospice of Chattanooga/Cleveland team will assist the patient with alternative plans when living alone is no longer safe.
Myth — Hospice stops all of the patient’s medication upon admission.
Fact — The Hospice of Chattanooga medical director reviews all patient medications on admission, and then a registered nurse and a team doctor continue to review medications on a regular basis.
Myth — Hospice advances death.
Fact — The goal of Hospice Chattanooga/Cleveland is to encourage individuals to live life to its fullest and have the best quality of life.
Myth — Morphine is a bad medication and causes people to die sooner than expected.
Fact — Morphine is one of many excellent medications that effectively controls pain. There is no indication that death is near when a patient begins to take morphine.
Myth — All Hospice patients must elect to sign a DNR (do not resuscitate) order.
Fact — Hospice of Chattanooga/Cleveland understands that patients need to have a choice in their care. We do not require a DNR for admission to Hospice.
The Cleveland branch of Hospice is located at 2145 Keith St. in the former Chamber Building. For more information, call 298 -5327.