What is Palliative Care?

If you work within the care sector with a responsibility for looking after people with serious, complex and life-limiting diseases, you will need to know what palliative care is and how to provide it.

Palliative care is a form of care which focuses on reducing the symptoms of severe diseases and illnesses. It does not specifically aim to prevent symptoms or provide a cure, although it can be effectively used alongside curative treatment.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines palliative care as:

“an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”

As someone undertaking this kind of role, it is recommended that you take a palliative care course to understand what is really meant by the term. This kind of care training will also help you improve at:

  • Ensuring those under your care are treated with dignity and empathy
  • Providing comfort and support for all people involved
  • Dealing with death and grieving
  • Complementary therapy awareness