April 29, 2020

A Nursing Student provides Care and Joy for Seniors

This nursing student is my eldest daughter. How proud and joy filled I am to watch her grow up to be an exceptional human being. My 20 year old daughter, Aubrey, is an exceptional human being in so many ways; her work ethic is second to none, she is kind, compassionate, has a very deep sense of justice and what is right, she is extremely strong willed, she strives for meaningful relationships and stands her ground for what she believes in.

Watching her face the struggles that COVID-19 has put on her from a distance is difficult, especially the uncertainty of how long it will be till we see her again, and the knowledge she is working with our dear seniors who have been most hard hit by this pandemic. I do however, have full trust in her abilities to move through adversity and challenge with grace, determination and integrity. I miss her terribly, and know in my heart, that she will be okay. I am proud of her for stepping up and sharing her story!

“I have recently completed my first year of my Bachelor of Nursing degree online due to the closure of the university I attend. All classes were shifted to online delivery and the clinical experience I looked forward to each week was cancelled. It was difficult adjusting to the new delivery of classes as the program is very hands-on. I struggled to cope with not being able to provide more assistance during this pandemic. As someone that hopes to become a Registered Nurse, it was hard staying at home and not being able to use the knowledge I gained this past year to help out.

My clinical experience was at a long-term care facility. I thoroughly enjoyed being there. Not only did I get to use the skills I learned in class, but I also got to make a difference in the resident’s lives. When my clinicals were cancelled, I truly felt useless.

While completing a zoom meeting with my clinical instructor, I discussed my frustration of being unable to help out. She ended up directing me to a possible Health Care Aide position at an assisted living facility in Lethbridge.

Due to the desperate need of health care workers at long-term care facilities and my experience from my Nursing program, I was fortunate to get the job. The position is exhausting, yet so exhilarating and fulfilling. I get to help residents not only by providing care, but also by being someone to visit as they are not able to have any visitors or see family.

My main duties are assisting residents with everyday duties such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and feeding. The Health Care Aides also do all the dishes and laundry for the residents. It has been tough as there are only two of us doing most of these activities for 20 residents. Despite the difficulty, this job has solidified my love for health care and being able to care for others. I can brighten the day of a resident by simply sitting and having a conversation, curling their hair, or doing a puzzle.

Through this job, I have gotten to see the resilience of people even under hardships, such as many created by COVID-19. Families still find ways to visit their family members in the facility by visiting outside the resident’s window and leaving drawings and messages. Seeing the resident’s light up from a phone call or family visit, brightens my day. During one of my shifts a young family came and drew rainbows and kind words on the sidewalk that brought smiles to all the exhausted staff and lonely residents.

Despite the challenges of being a health care worker during such unprecedented times, I have never felt so sure of the path I have chosen in life. I am glad I get to see the positives created by people during such a difficult time. This position has taught me to look for the positives and to be someone that can create joy for others, even from small and simple acts.”

~ Aubrey