Carmen Sanchez

Our People 2018 - Carmen Sanchez - 1000pxl.jpg

Transitional Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care

Calvary Kogarah

“The impression of palliative care is people dying, but we should get involved a lot earlier. What matters most to me at work is seeing my patients and their family celebrate their daily living rather than focus on the dying.

Being bilingual comes in handy in Calvary, Kogarah. One case I remember vividly was a young, well-educated lady. Her elderly parents, who didn’t speak a word of English, weren’t aware of her illness until they flew in from China just days before their daughter died.  It is hard to forget their shock, sadness and helpless eyes when I was trying comfort them in their language. I kept thinking that could be my parents.  Luckily, palliative care is a team effort. The team helped and showered them with a lot of warmth and practical support - there’s no price to put on these spirits.

My current position takes me, with another nurse practitioner Josh Cohen, into all Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) in the St George Area and The Sutherland Shire. This is a great opportunity to improve the standards of palliative care in our elderly population.   Working with the nurses in RACF and meeting with the patients and their families much earlier provides a platform for us to build a trusting relationship with them and allows us to discuss advanced care plans before a patient’s health deteriorates further.”