We can’t live in fear in this job because we need to protect the patients

Members Stories

“We can’t live in fear in this job because we need to protect the patients.
I’m a chief shop steward, so I hear from a lot of my co-workers about their safety concerns during this pandemic. And the reality is, as health care workers, we expose ourselves to so many things, sometimes we’re not even aware of it.
The key thing that I remind my colleagues is: let’s make sure we are safe when we enter a room; let’s take the precautions, and make sure we know what protections we need so that we’re not caught off guard.
As a Patient Care Aide, I’m the eyes and ears for the nurses I work with. I’m the go-between for families and nurses. I make sure that all the patients are safe. If the nurses aren’t immediately available to look after a patient’s needs, I’ll try to give them a warm blanket or anything to give them comfort before the nurses can see them.
I need to make sure that patients are happy, safe, warm and comfortable. And because of COVID-19, we’re dealing with a lot of scared patients. So, it’s our responsibility to make sure our patients are feeling safe, like helping them contact their families if they need to.
At the end of the day, if I brought some light to someone on my floor, then it was worth it.
I work with a great team, and I feel supported. I have a manager who advocates for me, and the team of nurses I work with have a lot of respect for what I do. They appreciate the experience and education I bring to the job because of the high-acuity and intensity.
I know it isn’t the same experience for other Care Aides. So, I try to provide them with support and guidance to believe in themselves as much as I can. Since COVID-19, there has been a lot more respect for us because of what we bring to the team.
Everyone deals with fear differently, but you have to be compassionate and deal with people at their level. Compassion is what drives my work.”
- Natalie, Care Aide (acute), part of the health care team