Caring Staff and Volunteers
Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services staff and volunteers receive special training and regularly participate in continuing education programs to ensure the highest level of care for patients and their families regarding end-of-life needs. We ensure that only qualified Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services staff and volunteers are assigned to provide care and support. An interdisciplinary team of health care professionals provides a coordinated approach to support the patient and family members.
The focus of our care is not only the patient, but also the patient's family. The State of Wisconsin defines family as a "patient's spouse, brother, sister, child, parent, or an individual with significant personal ties to the hospice patient who has been designated a family member by mutual agreement between the individual and the patient".
Meet our team of health care professionals:
- Registered Nurse – Assesses the patient's and family's needs; performs skilled nursing procedures; teaches family members and other caregivers the skills needed for relieving pain and other symptoms; coordinates the provision of medical equipment, supplies and medications; communicates with the attending physician; and, responds to patient and family emergencies. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services provides registered nurse services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through an on-call system. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services registered nurse visits are made on a routine basis based on the plan of care.
- Social Worker – Every patient has a social worker that is assigned to work directly with them and their family members. Social work services are provided based on the plan of care. The Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services social worker ensures that the plan of care is designed to meet the psychosocial needs of the patient and family. Social work services include assistance with advance directives, personal concerns, financial concerns, and accessing other community services.
- Spiritual Support – Spiritual support services are available to patients and family. Based on the patient's input, chaplains work with the patient's and patient representative's own identified faith community and/or provide direct individual spiritual support.
- Certified Nursing Assistant (Home Health Aide) – Certified nursing assistants (CNA) help the patient in activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and skin care. The assignment for the CNA is made by the registered nurse in consultation with the patient.
- Attending Physician – The patient's attending physician continues to provide the physician orders for the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services' patient. The attending physician is any physician of medicine whom the patient designates as primarily responsible for their Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services care.
- Consulting Physician – The consulting physician is any physician who provides on-call coverage for the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services patient's attending physician when the attending physician is not available and/or a physician specialist who is called in by the patient's attending physician or Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services Medical Director.
- Therapists – Therapy services such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and/or respiratory therapy are provided as indicated based on the plan of care.
- Massage Therapist -- Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch. While massage cannot cure someone who is terminally ill, it may offer much needed relief from symptoms and enhance the quality of life. Touch is nurturing, calming and soothing.
- Music Therapists -- Music therapy helps to meet people's physical, emotional and social needs. The Music Therapist not only performs music, but is also trained in counseling. As part of the interdisciplinary care team, the music therapist works with patients to use music activities and experiences to help meet patient needs.
- Dietitian – Dietitian services are provided based on the plan of care. Dietary counseling focuses on assisting the patient and family to understand the impact of the patient's condition on nutrition and to the promotion of comfortable eating and drinking.
- Bereavement Coordinator – Ensures that the grief and loss issues and concerns that are identified by the interdisciplinary team for the patient and family are met either directly by Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services staff, volunteers, and/or through referral for additional support. The Bereavement Coordinator works directly with bereavement volunteers who provide follow-up grief support to the patient's family as part of the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services bereavement services.
- Care Coordinators – The care coordinators oversee the services provided by the interdisciplinary group. The care coordinators are available to assist the patient and family if there are any issues regarding continuity or quality of care being provided.
- Medical Director – The Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services Medical Director works with the patient's attending physician to ensure that quality medical care is provided. The Medical Director is available for consultation, provides medical guidance to the Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services interdisciplinary team, works in consultation with the patient's attending physician and may participate in providing direct patient and family care.
- Clerical Staff – Supports the functioning of the interdisciplinary team. Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services patients and families may interact with clerical staff through telephone inquiries. The clerical staff is available to the patient and family to answer any questions and/or concerns regarding bills and/or medical records.
- Volunteer Coordinator – Is responsible for working with the patient and family to ensure that volunteers are provided based on the plan of care.
- Patient and Family Volunteers – Work under the supervision of the registered nurse and the volunteer coordinator to assist patients and families with day-to-day tasks, providing relief to caregivers and offering emotional support.
- Bereavement Volunteers – Bereavement volunteers support family members in the first year after a patient's death.
- Friends of Hospice – Friends of Hospice are volunteers who offer their talents in a wide variety of ways such as clerical, public relations, music, fundraising, gardening, cooking and other.