Since COVID, I feel like we have been in survival mode

member headshot

“I work as a patient ambassador at an extended care facility. This was a new position, created because of the pandemic, to deal with the mandates and restrictions. I took this role once it became permanent. Before taking this position, I worked in the kitchen for 10 years. 
In my opinion, COVID has shown all the gaps in health care and since it started, I feel like we have been in survival mode, one foot in front of the other putting out fires daily.
And health care was already such a demanding job. I have seen people give it their all, and they burn themselves out. There is also a lack of patience for people to recoup. I still work hard and give 100 per cent when I am at work, but now I have set boundaries to separate my home life. 
I have also seen a steady decline in people choosing to work full-time because it takes a huge toll on you – mentally and physically. There’s a lot of extras being added, without additional time or help to support the work.
I know that for myself, I have thought about going part-time, but it’s hard now, needing a two-income household to afford a house. Lotto is looking pretty fine these days, (ha ha!) – but obviously, that isn't a solution, but it does give us hope. And hope is such a beautiful thing to have, I always have that in my back pocket – but I am a “glass-is-half-full” person.  
Overall, HEU members are the frontline. We don’t make the rules, but we follow them. We are very empathetic and deeply care about the work we are doing, but sometimes are hands are tied. If people want to see a change in seniors’ care, they need to advocate for it.”

- Kaity, Patient Ambassador, part of the health care team