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A passion for palliative care and cancer nursing

The retirement function for Margaret Stevenson, clinical nurse manager Palliative Care, was a celebration of “a driving force” in the development of oncology and palliative care services at Waikato Hospital over many years. Many colleagues from hospital and community services gathered to pay tribute to her work and her passion for oncology nursing.

Her contribution included helping develop the regional palliative care unit (for which she was regional coordinator from 1999 to 2013), working through nursing issues and educational needs when haematology patients were integrated into the oncology service, and establishing the roles of oncology nurse educator and nurse practitioner: palliative care.

Her vast experience, range of skills, practical approach, dry sense of humour and passion for her work helped ensure Waikato Hospital’s oncology and palliative care services were on par with international centres.

She represented New Zealand cancer nurses at conferences and on study grant visits to several such centres overseas so she could observe best practice, and she brought back not only many ideas for change and improvement for practice here in Waikato but also the passion and skills to help make it happen.

As her colleague Robyn Segedin, clinical nurse specialist Haematology, puts it:

“Margaret Stevenson has supported staff from all levels of the multidisciplinary team with encouragement and mentoring. She has always been available to discuss issues and provide different perspectives.

“We will remember Margaret not only for her extensive knowledge base but for her professionalism and passion she bought to her work here and wish her all the best for the future.”

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