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I wanted to work in end-of-life care. I wanted to be there for people and their families in some of their hardest moments.

It can be scary anytime you have to visit a hospital. And nurses are often the ones giving comfort during those uncertain times. 

Comfort can mean listening to patients, telling them things are going be ok, this is what you can expect, here’s our plan. Saying the words ‘We’ll get through this together’ goes a long way. A compassionate nurse at your bedside can turn your fear and anxiety into comfort and peace. 

Mark Kocsis is the Clinical Educator, Nursing Oncology and Endoscopy at St. Joe’s and is often asked, “why did you choose a career in nursing?” He answers that question by stating that he just knew he wanted to spend his life helping other people during vulnerable times in their lives, and teaching others to do the same.

“In my final year of nursing school, I was completing my placement at a west-end hospice, and it suddenly clicked for me,” Mark explains. “I wanted to work in end-of-life care. I wanted to be there for people and their families in some of their hardest moments.”

As soon as Mark graduated from nursing school, the 6M oncology and palliative care unit at St. Joe’s was his first job applied to—that was four years ago and he’s been at St. Joe’s ever since. Now, during this pandemic, he and his nursing colleagues face one of the biggest challenges of their careers.

“A lot has changed for nurses during this pandemic. We are working over-time, late hours, and being redeployed to new areas of care like the ICU,” says Mark. “We’ve had to constantly adapt to new infection control policies and procedures to keep us, our families, and our patients safe. It has been hard but I’ve been inspired by all the nurses who keep coming into work each day.”

This week is Nursing Week and we west-enders are showing our gratitude to all the nurses at St. Joe’s. 

As a west-ender himself, Mark thanks our community and neighbours for the support and generosity that has been shown to our St. Joe’s staff this past year and for doing your part to keep our Promise to meet the healthcare needs of our community. 

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