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Cathy Sivak,

What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?

I’m to bring a message to all of humankind about a new paradigm and shift for a how we care for each other and integrated, holistic healthcare. Holistic health is about the optimal potential at all stages of your life; people have to learn to care for themselves in their lives and their deaths. My future goal is to bring a new awareness of compassion and love and healing to the profession of palliative care, its medical community, and beyond.

The Actual Work

What do you enjoy most about your career?

Dealing with mortality opens the view of the soul like no other. When facing death, life is more precious; we understand and are more open to life. As they say, if you were to live this day as if it were your last, what would you do? How do you look at it? That’s what I’m about, to spread the message, to give a vision, to know that we can care for each other at all moments of our lives.

A Day in the Life of a...

Ever wonder what it's like to be a nurse midwife? A nurse with a doctorate? Or a holistic nurse? Find out with our A Day in the Life... series!

Go to class with Assistant Professor-CT and Director of Student Services Dr. Ruby Martinez.

Spend the day with Holistic and Rehabilitation Nurse, Barbara Klein-Robuck.

Learn what Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse Maria Gatto does at work.

Deliver babies with Certified Nurse Midwife Eunice (Kitty) Ernst.

Share the struggles of an accelerated BSN nursing student with Erin Downing.

What are the biggest challenges?

The most challenging role of a palliative care nurse is to have an immediate connection to your patient in those first five or 10 minutes. You need to get the patient’s trust and emphasize when you are addressing the biggest points of mortality, something they haven’t even communicated to their family or loved one. That’s the most challenging role: to have the true skills of listening and communication.

How has the popularity of the Internet affected the nursing profession?

It has an impact; you see online degrees, online education, everything is done through the web and internet, my job and position is dependent on it. We have to be internet savvy, whether we like it or not. It’s integrated into nursing education, and clinical documentation is going electronic across the country; it’s in every facet of what we do.

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