Palliative care nurse practitioners, Kathy Kennel, MSN, FNP-C, ACHPN, and Shari Beauregard, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, ACHPN, work closely with a multi-disciplinary team of medical professionals to coordinate patient care at all stages of illness. Arizona Oncology’s goal is to assist patients and their families in making informed decisions about care and treatment so they can remain independent and live a full life. The palliative care nurse practitioners can provide help and emotional support to patients and their families when they are faced with difficult medical decisions, as well as to family members managing the extra responsibilities of caring for a relative who is ill. They assist in establishing individualized plans of care, provide support for complex pain and symptoms, and work with patients and their families on their psychosocial and spiritual needs.
Beauregard, a cancer survivor, knows first-hand about coping with a serious illness. As a teenager, she spent months in the hospital fighting the disease. “I understand what it’s like to be in the hospital for a long time. I understand the hard road patients and families must face,” said Beauregard.
After caring for and losing both of her parents to cancer, Kennel shares, “They are my inspiration and motivation to make a positive difference in patients’ lives every day.”
The benefits of palliative care will help patients to improve their quality of life, reduce anxiety, depression, and pain, understand difficult and complex treatment choices, increase their confidence in navigating care, decrease hospital admissions, readmissions, and emergency room visits, and increase life expectancy.
“We are not end of life people; we are quality of life people,” explains Beauregard.
For more information about the palliative care program at Arizona Oncology or to make an appointment, call 888-972-CURE.