Julie Shevlin, a registered nurse and member of CVHHH’s Hospice & Palliative Care team, was recognized at the annual Madison Deane award luncheon in Burlington for winning the Betsy Gardner Scholarship. This scholarship provides financial support for nurses to attend the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) annual assembly.
Julie, pictured left enjoying a lunch break at the conference, is one of four Vermont nurses to win the scholarship and attend the AAHPM conference.
We sat down with Julie to talk about her career in hospice and palliative care and to discuss her takeaways from the conference.
What did you take away from the conference that you can apply to your work at CVHHH? “One session really impacted me. We heard first-hand from Thor Ringler, who runs a program called My VA, My Story at the VA hospital in Madison, WI. The program is an intervention that interviews palliative care and other patients, writes their stories, and places them in the person’s medical record, making it accessible to providers. Studies have shown that this practice is very beneficial in decision making for all of the disciplines involved in giving a person car.
A second memorable takeaway was observing the Art of the Goals of Care Conversation, where role playing was enacted to give nurses the opportunity to work through difficult conversations with mock patients receiving difficult news. It was very interesting to hear experienced nurses steer these conversations from confusion to clarity.
Overall, I feel blessed and in awe that I was awarded such a magnanimous gift. It was so totally unexpected, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
Tell us about your journey to the Hospice & Palliative Care team at CVHHH Before I joined CVHHH a little over one year ago, I had worked for six years at the Cancer Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center. My position at UVMMC allowed me to travel on the journey with my patients from diagnosis through start of treatment to eventual admission to hospice. My interest in palliative care and hospice grew when the clinic at UVMMMC expanded to include a palliative care team in the office.