The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care > Caring for Caregivers > 6.5 Choosing a Team

Sick To Death book cover This extract from the online edition of The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care is used with permission.

Caring for Caregivers: Choosing a Team

Team Fairlawn

Team Fairlawn decided to start by improving the team meetings and family conferences for patients and caregivers. The team would need to involve participants from the medical/surgery ward. In addition, if they wanted to designate a space for family meetings or for use by the families, they needed administrative leadership. If they were going to enhance access to clinicians for family caregivers, they needed a few physicians or nurse practitioners from the ward to get involved in the project. They realized that some projects might require assistance from the hospital's education, public relations, and information technology (IT) departments. The team began assigning the responsibility for recruitment of new team members and responsibility for the development and testing of each sequential step of the "Caregiver Support Services Program."

For your project to succeed, your team must include key players who can help you reach your aims. Depending on what your issues are, you should try to include people involved in the current flow of care processes. Try to limit your core team to six to eight people, but if you have a complex aim or an aim that has many components, establish subteams to focus on different parts of the project (see Chapter 2 for more details on team formation).

Caregiver education, continuity, psychosocial, and support services should be provided in all care settings. Each of the suggested interventions can be applied in a hospital or a nursing home, and some of them can also be applied in home health care. It is up to your team to determine what elements of a valuable caregiver support program are rele­vant for your setting now and what you can work toward for the future. Think about the key players in your system or in the community, and consider how they might work with your team.

Related topics: