Meet Mark Kocsis – St. Joseph’s first-ever de Souza Nurse Associate

October 24, 2019

The last few years in Mark Kocsis’ life have been busy, to say the least. Kocsis graduated from Ryerson University’s nursing program in June 2017, and by November of that year, had begun his career on the Medicine, Oncology and Palliative Care (6M) unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. All the while, Kocsis was fueling his desire to improve how he cares for patients and taking the initiative to support his professional development goals.

“I had a student placement in a hospice, which was my first exposure to end-of-life care. I discovered I really like nursing in palliative and oncology. I like being present with patients and families and focusing on psychosocial aspects of nursing,” said Kocsis.

His drive to develop his skills in end-of-life care led him to the de Souza Institute continuing education program.

The de Souza Institute, headquartered at University Health Network, offers courses that empower clinicians to handle every situation in cancer and palliative care. This includes managing pain and symptoms as well as providing emotional support to allay people’s anxiety and fear.

To date, more than 10,000 health-care professionals from across Canada have enrolled in de Souza courses. In 2019, Kocsis became the first nurse from St. Joseph’s – and one of only 45 nurses in all of Ontario – to obtain the de Souza Nurse Associate Designation.

“I’ve always been a go-getter and life-long learner. The de Souza courses have equipped me with the knowledge to provide more competent and confident care,” said Kocsis.