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Confessions of a Health Care Assistant

by Stefanie Lisa 3 years ago in humanity
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We are all told, “live your life to the fullest”; I am here to do just that. Behind the Care serves as a vessel to project my real experiences, the highs and lows of being a caregiver, and clue in my loyal readers as to what and who inspires me in this crazy world. So, sit back, relax, and read on.

Beginning My Journey Of Self Discovery

A lot of people know what they want to do with there life when high school comes to an end. They have goals and dreams and a vision of where they want to be in 5 years. Then there's me. I did have dreams and aspirations and a vision but reality is, life doesn't always go as planned, and you don't always end up going down the road you once thought you would be traveling.

I was an average student I struggled with and English and math up until grade 12. My grade 12 year there was a lot of ups and downs and family issues that I didn't want to face so I thought that the best idea was to drop out (because you know the grass is always greener on the other side right?) move out of my parents house and work a minimum wage job thinking it would be really easy to eventually go back to school and get my grade 12 at a later time. I could not have been more wrong.

When I left school at 17, I started working right away it was always in a customer service role, or at least with the public in some shape or form. They were the easiest jobs to get at that age and gave me a paycheck. Some of the jobs I have held over the years have been waitress, cook, tour guide, tech support and various roles in the retail industry. I went through a lot of jobs over the years, some better than others, but none the less they were positions with no future no hope for advancement and the pay was minimum. I rotated through jobs like clockwork, seemed to be every six months I would want to quit or just not show up for work and I didn't know why I felt I had to do this.I would have anxiety attacks at work, I would be hospitalized I was overall not well, and I just kept suppressing it. I tried taking online courses to upgrade myself, I figured it would be easier being home and not having to worry about leaving home etc.. but as per usual struggled to focus and quickly lost interest every single time.

After I had my daughter in 2011 I knew I couldn't keep living like this. I mean what example would I be setting for her? In 2012 after much testing and doctors appointments I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is a disorder characterized by excessive or unrealistic anxiety about two or more aspects of life (work, social relationships, financial matters, etc.), often accompanied by symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or dizziness. So I now had the answer to why I am how I am, now it was time to figure how to manage this and go forward with being able to work a steady job.

In 2013 my Uncle Terry was visiting and approached me with an offer for a remote position working for his Law Firm. He didn't seemed phased that I knew nothing about law or the position in general. I was beyond scared and nervous because I knew if I took the position I couldn't just walk away because it was family. But I did like the thought of being able to be home. Long story short I accepted his offer and went to his office in the Kootenays and trained with his staff for 5 days before I was on my own at home which was 4 hours away. I couldn't have been more happy to work from the comfort of my home and be able to have breaks with my family, but in the same breath I was nervous as usual to work by myself with only 5 days of hands on training in an industry I knew nothing about. I learnt a lot in the role I was given and I am beyond grateful I was given that opportunity. It couldn't have come at a better time.I felt I was finally in a position where I was able to gain knowledge and skills to further myself down the road.

Unfortunately this was short lived...My Uncle unexpectedly passed away in 2014 leaving everyone in shock, and I was now in a position where I needed to figure out what I wanted out of life and what my next steps would be. This is when I started looking at options. Do I go back to another crap job? or do I go back to an actual school in an actual classroom? And what would I even take?

I knew the online learning thing wasn't an option because I have been there done that and it ended in failure multiple times. Just the thought of going back to school in an actual classroom after so many years out of school scared the shit out of me. I started looking at different colleges and courses and really thinking about what I would actually WANT to learn and because I didn't have my grade 12 or GED it seemed nearly impossible to attend any of colleges because of the entrance requirements.

Why did I decide to become a Health Care Assistant? I asked myself this a lot. I was riddled with anxiety, I am not the most patient person in the world.. Let's be honest..Everyone says all Health Care Assistants do is wipe asses all day, Emergency situations made me nervous, and the thought of spending 9 months in a classroom doing projects, tests, and then a clinical! It made my anxiety soar just thinking about it all. BUT, in saying all that, deep down I wanted to make a change in someones life. I have always been intrigued with working in health care, especially palliative care, I would love a position in a Hospice. I also knew my scope of practice as a Health Care Assistant wouldn't be as intense as say a LPN's scope of practice. ( I didn't really know what was included in my scope at that point but I knew it definitely was less than a LPN)

It took a lot of fighting with myself to actually go fourth with even the admissions meetings, and the testing that they needed, seeing I was now considered a "mature student."One day it seemed like a great idea and I was excited, and felt confident that I can do this,then the next day or two, i'm regretting even signing up and was convinced I would fail.

I spoke with admissions about the Health Care Assistant course and asked many times and I mean MANY times what the work load would be, the process of getting student loans etc. I was told it wasn't a lot of homework and the majority of the students enrolled were older than me (not sure why but I felt better hearing this) I was starting to feel a little more at ease with starting. I nervously signed all the paperwork and was officially enrolled! They told me December 15 2014 was the start date..and that's exactly when my journey down a road to self discovery started.

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Stefanie Lisa

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