"This is why I wanted to become a caregiver. My voice isn't that beautiful, but I'll sing, I'll hold, I'll comfort, and I'll become the family they need.– Sarah S., Health Care Assistant graduate.
Once you graduate from Vancouver Career College, you become a part of a network of extraordinary alumni that celebrate your successes. We love to keep in touch with our graduates and acknowledge their achievements in their careers.
We had a delightful virtual phone call with Sarah, a Vancouver Career College alumna who graduated from the Health Care Assistant program in August 2016. During our conversation, she shared some inspiring insight into why she chose to become a health care assistant and what her time was like as a student. After tackling multiple career paths, from working retail to working behind a desk to cleaning homes, none of those career paths felt quite right. When she put more thought into it, Sarah realized that working with people is what made her happy and was what she wanted out of a career.
As a natural caregiver to friends and family, Sarah continuously found herself serving others. She volunteered at Brook Haven, a personal care facility in West Kelowna, where she worked as hair as a stylist and uplifted the senior residents to make them feel good. During her volunteer experience, she met and networked with the nurses and care assistants working there. This led her to want to pursue higher education at Vancouver Career College to pursue the career of her dreams in helping those in need. Alongside her own personal medical history of being a patient in hospital care, she understood caregiving's importance in health care. She wanted to help people the same way that she had been cared for when she was ill.
"The best memory I've had in my full career was as a practicum student," Sarah shares her most memorable experiences at Vancouver Career College. She loved how supportive and passionate her instructors were. Sarah continued to describe her instructors as nurturing in a motherly way and detail-oriented to equip them to thrive in the real world. Her instructors truly valued caring for others, allowing them to see the people they cared for as individuals with families.
The practicum placement was the students' opportunity to put all the hard work they had learned in class into practice in real situations. Sarah felt empowered by the instructors even when she was unsure about trying things for the first time, but they created a safe learning environment for her to succeed.
She also adds that “Life after graduation was amazing because immediately after graduation, you have several job opportunities. Almost everyone was offered a job at the practicum placement where we worked." She found it useful when her instructors brought industry professionals insight into key career aspects.
Pursuing higher education can be challenging for many, maintaining a balance between studies, work and personal life. Sarah experienced some personal issues, which caused her to fear not being able to succeed. She reached out to her instructor, who could tell she needed extra support. They had an honest heart-to-heart, where she assured Sarah that her fears of failure could not defeat her.
Graduating with honours allowed Sarah to believe in herself and her career goals. She shared some words of encouragement "Real life happens, and it can affect your ability to focus, so by being open with instructors and staff, you can have extra support to encourage you along the way, so you don't feel like you are on your own. You may question yourself with what if I can't, but you will soon start to realize that everyone feels this way at one point in time." says Sarah.
We hope you found Sarah's story inspiring and that it excites you about potentially starting a career as a health care assistant.