Bakersfield Palliative Care

Managing the symptoms of an advanced illness

Are you or is someone dear to you living with an advanced illness or life-threatening condition? If so, you need the expertise of Adventist Health Bakersfield's palliative care team.

Palliative care is a medical specialty that provides expert treatment of the pain and distress that can occur with advanced illness. Unlike hospice care, which provides a comfortable environment for those in the final stages of life, palliative care is appropriate for any stage of serious illness. Our specially trained caregivers work with you and your family to offer support for physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

Our palliative care team includes:

  • A specially trained physician who focuses on pain and symptom management
  • A nurse specialist who coordinates day-to-day care and regularly communicates with the patient and family
  • A social worker, skilled in interpersonal communication, who helps the patient cope with the lifestyle changes that can occur with illness
  • A chaplain, who offers spiritual and emotional support for the patients and their family, according to their faith and individual needs

Benefits of palliative care

No matter what stage of serious illness you are in, palliative care can benefit you and your family and make for a more comfortable experience.

Working closely with your primary doctor, our palliative care team provides:

  • Expert treatment of pain and uncomfortable symptoms
  • Guidance in determining goals of care
  • Help in interpreting the benefits and burdens of treatment options
  • Coordination of care and discharge across all settings
  • Assistance with practical needs
  • Emotional support for you and your family
  • Close communication and compassionate care

Palliative care for physicians

At Adventist Health, our palliative care team is committed to working with and supporting physicians as we strive to provide our patients with top-notch medical care.

Palliative care offers physicians helpful assistance and benefits in a number of areas, including:

  • Time: By helping with coordination and intensive patient/family communication and follow-up
  • Expertise: In pain and symptom management, especially in complicated cases where pain relief is hard to achieve
  • Support: For the physician's plan of care from initial treatment through discharge
  • Satisfied patients: Patients and families who receive palliative care as part of their overall medical treatment have a high level of satisfaction with their physicians

A palliative care referral is appropriate:

  • When a patient/family needs help with complex decision-making
  • For difficult pain and symptom management
  • For spiritual distress and loss of hope
  • For a prolonged hospital stay (five or more days) without improvement
  • For recurrent admission/emergency department visits for advanced illness
  • In an ICU setting with poor prognosis
  • When assistance is needed to determine hospital eligibility

For more information about Palliative Care, please call (661) 869-6627.