Love Leads to Career as a Hospice Nurse
When Katelyn Shively was in High School, her mother was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. “I packed her biopsy wound and found it very interesting watching the wound heal, and it allowed me to learn some hands-on skills,” she says. “I saw how the oncology nurses and physicians impacted her during treatments and encouraged her to keep fighting. My mom survived, and it led me to a career in nursing.”
Shively has had a career filled with many experiences. “I’ve been a nurse for 13 years, starting as an LPN, and have worked in primary care, pediatrics, specialty, and express clinics. I graduated with my BSN in 2012. Before coming to Midland Care, I worked in adult ICU for a few years, then ENT.”
Shively began working at Midland Care in January 2020, and serves as the Hospice Nursing Team Lead and Registered Nurse Case Manager, working in designated nursing homes in the Topeka area. “As the facility RN CM, I spend most of my work days in facilities contracted with Midland Care providing care to patients on hospice, but living in a facility. This has some unique challenges that require a lot of communication with the hospice team, facility team, provider, patient, and family,” she said.
Before working directly for Hospice, Shively said she saw the beauty in this holistic approach to medicine.
“Hospice is a different type of care. While working in the ICU, I witnessed aggressive care of dying patients that was heartbreaking and high stress. When families were open to hospice care it was a relief; the family and staff could be present and focus on comfort. Dying can be a very beautiful stage of life and you’re caring for much more than just the patient. The families and caregivers need support and training to provide care because hospice is intermittent care. Watching families come together and support their dying loved one, you get to see some wonderful relationships and the amount of love a person can give.”
Shively enjoys working for Midland Care, and says “Midland is an amazing place to work. Through the ups and downs of healthcare over the last several years I have felt heard and supported. They’re open to listening to and making a change to support their employees.”
Outside of work, Shively keeps busy with the 101-acre farm she and her husband own. Her children are heavily involved in activities, so she spends a lot of time at their sporting events cheering them on. When she does have spare time, she enjoys working on projects around the house, such as redoing furniture, crafts, and sewing. “My family brings me the most joy. My son and daughter make me so proud and keep me busy. It’s fun to see them grow and try new things. But the connections I make doing this work have been life-changing.”