POLST forms are portable medical orders or medical orders that travel with the patient (your state may call it something other than POLST).
All adults should have an advance directive to help identify a surrogate decision maker and provide information about what treatments they want for an unknown medical emergency. A POLST form is for when you become seriously ill or frail and toward the end of life. A POLST form gives medical orders to emergency personnel based on your current medical situation. POLST forms and advance directives are both advance care plans but they are not the same.
POLST forms are completed by your health care provider after discussing what is important to you, your diagnosis, what is likely to happen in the future and what your treatment options are. A doctor (sometimes physician assistant or nurse practitioner — it depends on your state) must sign the POLST form for it to be valid.
It should always be your choice to have a POLST form —you should never be forced to have a POLST form.
Talk to your health care team if you would like a POLST form.