The term Health Care Heroes has been top of mind this year as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our Health Care Assistants (HCA), among other professions, work around the clock to protect our most vulnerable population and provide companionship through this isolating period. In these uncertain and challenging times adjusting to the “new normal”, they have been innovative, adaptable, and committed to providing exceptional health care.
The support that they provide is truly the glue that holds us all together. Each and every one of you inspires us with your passion for helping others and together you will continue to impact the lives of so many.
What is Health Care Assistant Day?
Established in 2011, Health Care Assistant day is celebrated annually on October 18 to recognize and show our sincere appreciation for all that they do. Please join us today as we honour over 35,000 Health Care Assistants within British Columbia. They continue to provide 24-hour care to protect and support British Columbians who have complex care needs in a variety of settings to remain independent as long as possible.
IH Health Care Assistant Heroes
We interviewed many HCA’s from those taking the first step in their career to those celebrating Long Term Service Awards of 10, 20 or even 25 plus years. Those with experience shared advice to HCA’s just starting their career in health care, “To just be yourself and to treat everyone as if they were family. Be gentle with yourself and take the time to get to know each resident and their individual routines.”
Many of our HCA’s found inspiration for their career from first-hand experience with their loved ones being cared for. Due to their empathic nature, many started their career as an HCA seeking the opportunity to honour those in palliative care or to be able to help those in need live their best life.
The common consensus of HCA’s outlines their favourite part of their job is the people. From the team they work with, to the people they care for to the bond made with the families. Each day they do little things to make a difference in the lives of others and bring a smile to their face.
Meet Our Health Care Assistants
Tammy started her career at Interior Health as a Health Care Aide over 21 years ago, part of her journey included 14.5 years at the Gateby Care Center before joining the team at Polson Care Center. Tammy sheds light on the challenges they are currently facing:
“The pandemic affects many things. We are now required to wear masks and goggles. We change into our uniforms when we arrive at work and back into our street clothes before we leave and our temperatures are taken at the beginning of every shift.”
Day-to-day life has changed for everyone, especially the patients and residents in care. Tammy and her team explain how they have invented new ways to connect with the patients and ensure that they are providing quality companionship throughout these challenging times. They have created special visiting rooms for families to ensure they are still able to connect. In addition, many care aides try to spend as much 1-on-1 time as possible with the residents.
Many HCA’s reflected on how their continued education at Interior Health has allowed them to utilize their learned knowledge to provide better care for their patients. Lana, a Health Care Aide at IH, describes how her Palliative Care course allowed her to better help families navigate challenging decisions. It’s moments like this where she feels a sense of pride and knows that she is making a difference.
It’s moments that they can bring joy and cheer into the lives of the residents that make the holidays memorable. For example, the staff loves to dress up and celebrate the holidays with the residents. Jeanine, a Health Care Aide at IH, shares how moved she feels almost every day working with her residents and team. She emphasizes how the connection with the residents is what makes her job so rewarding. Many reminisce about setting residents up in their room so they don’t miss the NHL playoffs, tucking in the residents at night with a warm blanket and their favorite stuffed animals, and watching yodeling videos because it’s their favourite thing. These small moments have a significant impact on the lives of others and we are so grateful to have such compassionate, caring, and incredible people at Interior Health.
Interior Health emphasizes the importance of having a work-life balance for optimal mental health. Luckily situated in beautiful Southern Interior British Columbia, we have a four-season playground to explore in our own backyard. When our HCA’s aren’t in the workplace they can be found hitting the slopes, gardening, hiking, or camping to name a few.
How to Become an HCA
The demand for health care assistants is ever increasing and this year with the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to demonstrate how essential they are to the safety and quality of personal care for patients.
If you’re looking create a meaningful impact, and make a difference in someone’s life apply on our website: jobs.interiorhealth.ca/health-care-assistant
A sincere thank you to all Health Care Assistants holding different titles including Community Health Worker, Residential Care Aide, Home Support Worker, Long-Term Care Aide, Home Health Aide, Continuing Care Assistant and Personal Care Aide.