Inpatient Pain Management & Palliative Care
Our Commitment to You
No matter your needs or your unique situation, our Pain Management and Palliative Care team is here every step of the way. We serve you on an inpatient basis at Stamford Hospital under the guise of three dedicated nurse practitioners. We also provide pain management care in outpatient locations under the leadership of our board-certified physicians.
Inpatient Pain Management
Pain has the potential to affect all aspects of a person’s health—physical, mental and emotional—and we believe each of those plays a significant part in recovery and/or managing pain comfortably.
We approach pain management with a multidisciplinary philosophy. This means, where appropriate, we consider the input of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chaplains, social workers, psychologists and other allied health professionals when devising a patient’s pain management plan. Thanks to today’s modern treatments, it is no longer necessary for patients to tolerate a level of pain that distresses them.
Questions to ask your Doctor
Adequately managing pain requires cooperation between patients and their doctors and nurses. Here are some guidelines to help patients with this interaction:
- Ask your doctor or nurse what kind of pain you can expect from your condition or upcoming procedure.
- Discuss any past experiences with pain management, and concerns you may have about medications and treatments.
- Discuss palliative care and pain control options, and work with your doctors and nurses to make a pain control plan.
- Pain is more easily managed when treated early. Please tell your nurse when you first begin to feel pain.
- If certain activities (such as physical therapy) cause pain, plan with your nurse to take medications ahead of time so that you can be more comfortable.
- Tell your doctor or nurse about any pain that won't go away, or if you are having side effects from any medication.
- The Pain service offers medical management of pain, including medication initiation and adjustment, physical therapy, and complementary medicine treatments such as massage and Reiki therapies. The team can make a referral to one of our Interventional Pain Specialists when your pain would be best treated by an intervention. Examples of interventions would include epidural or facet injections and blocks, radiofrequency nerve ablation, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, and intrathecal and epidural infusion systems, and others.
Have Questions about Inpatient Care?
Contact the Pain & Palliative Care Nurse Practitioners at 203.276.7582, 203.276.7941, or 203.276.7233.
As a Planetree hospital, we are committed to personalizing, humanizing and demystifying the healthcare experience for patients and their families. Our approach is holistic and encourages healing in all dimensions— mind, body and spirit.
Whether a patient has a curable illness, a chronic disease or a terminal condition, patient comfort is of utmost importance to us at Stamford Hospital. Palliative care treats pain and other disease symptoms that affect a patient’s quality of life.
What is Stamford Hospital’s palliative care program?
Stamford Hospital’s palliative care team consists of a physician and three nurse practitioners who collaborate as part of our interdisciplinary approach with our Care Management and Spiritual Care departments. The team provides consultation for patients in the hospital and works together with you, your primary care doctor, family and other care providers. The result is a plan of support and care that meets your needs while supporting your values.
How is palliative care different from hospice?
Hospice care is a program providing palliative care near the end of life. It is limited to patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Unlike Hospice care, palliative care at Stamford Hospital has no time limit and can be provided together with treatment to cure or control the disease process. This allows patients and families the benefits of holistic care earlier in the course of an illness.
What can I expect from a palliative care consultation?
A team member will meet with you and your loved ones to assess your condition and needs. The team will then work with your doctor on a plan for relief of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. You will also receive support in dealing with emotional and spiritual distress that can come with illness. The palliative care team will help you better understand your condition and choices for continued care. You will have support in identifying your goals and a plan for care to meet them. You may also be provided with regular follow up by the palliative care team while you are in the hospital to assess your progress and help with planning for care after discharge.
When is the right time for palliative care?
Palliative care may be offered together with all other appropriate medical treatment. It is recommended that patients and their loved ones seek palliative care early in the course of any serious illness, so that overall quality of life can be optimized.
How can I obtain palliative care?
Ask for it! Start by talking to your doctor or nurse. Tell them about your and your loved one's needs for symptom management, support with the stress of dealing with illness, assistance with planning for future care, and understanding your options. Your doctor may be able to help you with these things or assist you in finding help. When you are a patient at Stamford Hospital, your doctor can order a consultation from the palliative care team.
Resources for Patients
Get Palliative Care national website for patients and families, sponsored by CAPC (the Center for the Advancement of Palliative Care). CAPC is a national professional organization devoted to growing the field of Palliative Care to meet more patients’ needs.
Resources for Physicians