Pioneer of the Calvary Palliative Home Care Service, Kevin Hardy (BNg (PreReg) ’99, MNg (NPrac) ’15) is the first palliative care nurse practitioner in Adelaide to work within the private hospital system.
Kevin believes having a love for people is the key to a successful life as a nurse. He considers it a privilege to help his patients and their families navigate the challenging end-of-life period.
‘You meet some incredible people across all spectrums of life – from battlers to the wealthy – just some really tough and resilient people,’ he says.
The experience of looking after his sick father, who died at the age of 61, was life-changing. At the age of 36, Kevin, who had not completed high school, began a nursing degree at Flinders University.
‘I say nursing chose me rather than me choosing nursing.’
After working in palliative care for almost two decades, Kevin returned to Flinders to complete his Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) in 2015.
Establishing the Calvary Palliative Home Care Service in September 2018, Kevin is now involved in all levels of the service.
‘We do everything from start to finish – admissions, consulting, symptom management, hands-on care, end-of-life care, medication management – all through one service, without the need to refer out to other agencies or services,’ says Kevin.
Previously, patients at the private hospital nearing their end-of-life period would be referred to the public palliative care services.
‘I think that’s the point of difference. You get that continuity of care. Even if people come in and out of Calvary Hospital or Mary Potter Hospice, they will see some familiar faces. And then as soon as they get home, we provide their home support.’
Photo courtesy Calvary Health Care