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Cook finds meaning full work in health care field

Cook finds meaning full work in health care field

Written On: 22 August, 2017
Category: Alumni Health Care
Related programs:  Comprehensive Health Care Aide MSHS - Integrated Comprehensive Health Care Aide

Essential, but often overlooked, thoughtful health care aides can mean all the difference for someone in care. They go about their work quietly, supporting others in short- and long-term care to extend their quality of life and independence.

As far back as Giliane Cook (CHCA, Class of ‘15) can remember, she’s been interested in having a career in the health sector. She started at Assiniboine in the Comprehensive Health Care Aide (CHCA) program in the summer of 2015.

Thanks to partial funding by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the program was offered completely tuition-free to First Nations and Métis students living off-reserve. Cook saw this as an opportunity to get the skills needed to kick-start her career.

“For me taking the program was a no brainer,” says the mother of two. “I want to be a nurse and I knew I didn't have the time to go back to school full time to do that; my son wasn't in school yet.”

“I liked the idea that I could get my certificate in the health care field in such a short amount of time. The CHCA program helped me get my foot in the door.”

Assiniboine’s six-month CHCA program appeals to those who have a genuine interest in assisting others and offers graduates the knowledge and experience to be compassionate, respectful and diligent in their careers.

In December of 2015, Cook and 21 other students graduated from the program. She was hired by the Brandon Regional Health Centre as a health care aid shortly after graduating and has been there ever since.

“Life has been great. I love my job,” says Cook. 

“I know that I chose the right path for myself because I feel accomplished and find fulfilment in helping others. You are always learning something new, whether it be about yourself, or a new trick or skill.”

As with most new things in life, Cook encourages others individuals considering the CHCA program—or post-secondary in general—to be open to new experiences and challenges.

“Be open to criticism. You are not going to know everything right away. You’re going to learn new things about yourself and the job every day,” she says. “Read, read, read. And don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. You’re here [in college] to learn and further yourself.”

One of Cook’s long-term career goals is to ladder her CHCA education and experience to become a practical nurse. The program at Assiniboine was a step in that direction. 

“The Assiniboine experience helped me to realize that I chose the right career.” Says Cook. 

CHCA graduates find jobs in hospitals, care facilities, mental health facilities and community settings, including home care. Graduates are also eligible to receive a block credit transfer of 15 academic credits to Assiniboine’s Practical Nursing program.

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