The division of Hematology and Oncology is embedded in the Department of Internal Medicine and was implemented in 2008 and became an independent department in late 2013.
The palliative care team was founded in 2003 by nurses from the Department of Internal Medicine, who were working frequently with oncology patients. In 2006, a ward for palliative care patients, which includes six beds, was implemented.
The Palliative Care Unit is embedded in the Department of Internal Medicine and works in close cooperation with the Division for Hematology and Oncology. The PCU ward offers six beds for palliative patients. The palliative care team consists of:
- Three medical doctors, two of them working full time, one part-time
- 17 nurses, 12 working on the ward, five involved in the support- and mobile team. Two nurses are working on the ward and in the support- and mobile team
- One psychologist, 30 hours
- A social worker who is available on demand during office hours
- A nutritionist is involved in monitoring patients’ needs concerning nutritional supplements, enteral and parenteral nutrition
- A volunteer team, consisting of 24 members (6 for the ward, 18 for outpatients)
The Division for Hematology and Oncology consists of an inpatient department (18 beds) and an outpatient department. The departments of ENT, gynecology and pneumology also treat oncologic patients, but have to get consent of the weekly tumor board before they start medical oncologic treatment. The Division for Hematology and Oncology works in close cooperation with the Department of Radiotherapy and Radio-oncology.
According to research and education, our centre is involved in clinician studies and continuous lectures to keep levels of research and training as high as possible.
The “Landesklinikum Krems”, which is one of the largest hospitals in Lower Austria, Austria, provides 480 beds and offers in- and outpatient services. Included in the hospital are departments for anesthesiology and critical care, surgery, gynecology and obstetrics, ENT, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery, pneumology, trauma surgery, urology and radio-oncology.
The centre is able to provide all necessary emergency care for patients with advanced cancer. Since all beds in our hospital are available on a 24/7 basis, we can always guarantee admittance to all our patients in our hospital in case of emergency.
Palliative and supportive care
The palliative care and support team consults and visits all palliative patients who are admitted to other wards in the hospital. Additionally, the team visits patients at home, and networks with home care services and GPs. Once a patient is admitted to the PC team, he will be followed and visited every time he comes to our hospital, even if he is admitted at another department. The team also takes care for the needs of the relatives. We also offer supportive care services to curative patients, when they are in need of pain or symptom control concomitantly to oncologic therapy.
Our philosophy is to include palliative care as early as possible in the care of oncology patients. For us, it seems important that the patients are used to the members of the PC (palliative care) team, so that they will not get the impression that the PC team is the “last option” for them, and that the appearance of a palliative care physician is not automatically related to death and dying. We often admit patients in an early stage of their disease on our PC ward to achieve symptom control, so that they get familiar with our team.