Kay Sandor loving life as she enjoys fishing – one of her favorite pastimes.
Kay Sandor always has a smile on her face. It is evident she is at peace with her life and passionate about her beliefs.
Dr. Sandor has been involved with holistic nursing for almost 20 years. Although she was drawn to a holistic philosophy and practice later in her career; she continues to practice in mental health settings and hospice settings yet today. The core essentials of holistic nursing are woven into her practice and research, her communication, self-care, and care for others. The Holistic Core Essentials are:
• Philosophy and Education
• Ethics, Theories, and Research
• Communication, Therapeutic Environment and Cultural Competence
• Caring Process
Her career path has been varied over the years and eventually led her to think differently about nursing and how she could offer support for the patient who intuitively and ultimately knew how to best care for their own minds, bodies, and spirits.
When Kay started out, she worked in critical care. She found the energy (adrenalin) of the work environment was satisfying at first. However, after several years, she began to feel dissonance at some of the futile efforts to keep people alive at any cost. The cost was great for the patient, their families, and the nurses and other professional health care providers
At that point in her career, she sought additional education for end-of-life care. She attended End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) courses taught by Betty Ferrell and others and returned to the University of Texas Medical Branch and shared what she learned with staff nurses and students. Kay also attended the University of Houston Clear Lake to complete a Masters level program in Clinical Psychology and get licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Dr. Sandor continued to seek additional education and attended the Metta Institute “End of Life Care Practitioner Program” with Frank Ostaseski. In addition, she attended the “Being with Dying” course at Upaya Zen Center with Roshi Joan Halifax. These three programs and their nationally and internationally known teachers have had a profound influence on Dr. Sandor’s ability to care for herself and others (especially those who are about to die and in transition). They are Betty Farrell, Frank Ostaseski, and Roshi Joan Halifax.
Although Dr. Sandor has many educational credentials and two licenses (RN and LPC), she states she values the Advanced Holistic Nursing-Board Certified (AHN-BC®) Credential.
After she and several of her colleagues at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing (UTMB SON) got certified, they saw the importance of incorporating holistic values into the nursing curriculum. Even though they were already involved in a very holistic program incorporating the core values of holistic nursing was culminated with this endorsement program. Once the program was finalized, the school sought and achieved endorsement by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.
She got certified in 2002 and was faculty at UTMB SON until 2013. She recently re-certified for another 5 years. Kay continues to emphasize to young nurses and graduates from endorsed schools that they can sit for their certification examination as soon as they receive their nursing license. More and more hospitals require certification and holistic nursing certification is valued.
Dr. Sandor serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (credentialing organization). She is the chair of several committees and during her four years as a Board Member held the positions of President-elect, President, Past President, and Treasurer, She states she loves the fact she can connect with kindred spirits; and check in with Leaders from Endorsed Schools, which continues to be her passion.
She tries to attend every American Holistic Nurses Association (membership organization) annual meeting every year In addition she attends as many presentations as possible to receive CE for her nursing license and re-certification.
Kay lives in Texas, with her life partner Gary; where they are avid sailors. Dr. Sandor sees patients three days a week in her Psychotherapy Practice http://www.thespiritspace.com.
Besides fishing and sailing, this busy lady is an active Rotarian (ten years) where she is Chair of the Vulnerable Populations Committee. This group holds a free bicycle helmet giveaway annually. For the past 18 years, Kay chaired the Neighborhood Community Garden, one of her favorite activities.
Although her schedule is demanding, Kay always takes time to meet new people and welcome them with open arms.