One of our McLarty Scholarship recipients, Renata Osario-Stevens recently completed her Master of Nursing - Chronic Disease and Palliative Care through the University of Queensland while working as a casual Clinical Nurse in the Southwest.
Cancer Council WA has an ongoing commitment to improving palliative care practice throughout WA. Thanks to a generous bequest from the McLarty family, we are able to provide post graduate study scholarships for nurses and allied health staff.
Originally from Brazil, Renata was drawn to palliative care specialty and the McLarty Scholarship has allowed her to pursue her passion of delivering holistic, palliative care to patients throughout WA.
Why are you passionate about palliative care?
Delivering care to people and their families was always something that I was passionate about. My experience as a Paediatric Oncology Nurse made me understand the importance of holistic care, and the practice of Palliative Care allows me to deliver that. The satisfaction obtained when I see people having their symptoms managed, enjoying the best life that they can have is priceless. Also, advocating for those that are still to find their voices, and ensuring that they can be safe at their preferred place for symptom management and/or end-of-life care make me feel proud of what I do for living.
What do you find most rewarding about your work in palliative care?
Looking at people and their families as one, being acknowledged as a committed professional, and having positive feedback from peers feels rewarding. Quality of life is something that drives me to provide the best care I can to patients and families.
What prompted you to apply for a McLarty Scholarship?
I applied for the McLarty Scholarship because my passion for studying never ceases, and I would not be able to afford paying for a master's degree otherwise. The McLarty family's history and their impact on health practitioners and people receiving Palliative Care cannot be measured. Not having to worry about how I would finance my studies and being able to attend to courses on a full-time basis over three semesters has been amazing. Thank you very much to the McLarty family and Cancer Council WA, I am forever grateful for your support.
If you could offer one piece of advice to others wanting to pursue a career in palliative care, what would it be?
If Palliative Care is your passion, do not let anyone or anything stop you! Though it is an area that has been recognised only recently, the many applications of Palliative Care gives us a wide spectrum of practice. I would recommend that newcomers take it easy and acquire practice based on evidence and get formally qualified - the sky will be your limit!