- With Mayo Clinic nurse educator
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.read biographyclose window
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.Sheryl M. Ness
Sheryl Ness, R.N., O.C.N., is a nurse educator for the Cancer Education Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She helps inform patients, families and caregivers about services and resources to help them through the cancer journey.
She has a master's degree in nursing from Augsburg College. In addition, she is an assistant professor of oncology at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and is certified as a specialist in oncology nursing. Sheryl has worked for more than 20 years at Mayo Clinic as an educator. She has a keen interest in the importance of the quality of life and concerns of people living with cancer.
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Palliative care focuses on pain relief and quality of care
By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
A few weeks ago, we discussed hospice care. This week, I'd like to focus on the importance of palliative care. Palliative care is designed with the primary goal of improving pain relief and quality of life.
The idea is to address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a person with a serious or life-threatening illness. Like hospice care, palliative care is not just for cancer patients.
Palliative care should be provided along with and throughout your cancer treatment. A palliative care specialist can partner with your cancer doctor to create a treatment plan that eases symptoms, relieves pain, addresses spiritual and psychological concerns, and helps maintain dignity and comfort.
By reducing uncomfortable symptoms, side effects and pain during treatment, you are more likely to complete your cancer treatment successfully and maintain an improved quality of life. This is especially true for cancer survivors.
Often, palliative care specialists work as part of a multidisciplinary team to coordinate care. This palliative care team may consist of doctors, nurses, registered dieticians, pharmacists, psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, chaplains and social workers. Together, you can formulate a plan that supports your personal needs and goals for treatment and care.
Ask your care provider about palliative care if you feel you would benefit from these services. Share your thoughts and experiences on palliative care with each other.blog index