Guest Profile: Becki Hawkins
Becki Hawkins is a natural storyteller and a great listener. She brought those gifts with her as she sat by the bedside of seriously ill or terminally ill patients for more than 30 years as an oncology and hospice nurse.
Hawkins began her career as a nurse's aide at age 19 that inspired her to get a degree in nursing. Unusual for someone so young, she chose to start her career in the Oncology Unit in a large city hospital. She progressed to Outpatient Oncology, Hospice, and eventually became a Hospice Chaplain. Upon retirement in the 1990s, she began to volunteer her services and expertise with hospice patients. She was also instrumental in the transition and care of various family members.
The emotional impact of working with terminally ill patients was difficult for Hawkins. She loved the opportunity of working with the patients and families, but didn’t quite know how to face the reality of not being able to "save" every patient. After seeing the stress it left upon her and hearing the stories, her husband suggested she begin journaling. Hawkins began to write about what she was hearing, witnessing, feeling with her patients, their families, co-workers and visitors.