I like people and love hearing their stories

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“I live in a small town and lost my dream job. To be honest, I never thought I would work in health care, but I didn’t have a lot of options. I’ve been working as a lab assistant for more than seven years now, and I’m active in the union.

I love to learn. After going to three conventions, I’m more educated about the goings on of the union. I feel more involved. I feel like I understand what’s happening more, and I can better relate to other activists.

When I’m working in the hospital, I respond to traumas and patients on the wards. I also go to care homes a couple times a week. 

I also work at an outpatient laboratory where we see close to 200 patients a day.

I get to talk to them and hear their stories. I’ve met some really interesting people even in the short time I see them – whether it’s two minutes or 10 minutes – you can get a lot out of a person. Most people are very open to talk to health care workers. 

I like people and love hearing their stories. 

The wait times in health care and at the laboratory cause a lot of problems. People get really upset when they have to wait. I feel like they expect us to be more like a fast-food restaurant than a health care facility. We deal with lots of angry people because of the wait times.

Our population in the Interior has increased a lot in the past couple years, but our staffing levels have not increased. Our hospital has not grown, our outpatient lab is the same size it’s been for 20 years. And we cannot keep up with the demands. 

I don’t want to work so much overtime. The money’s not worth it because you’re missing out on your family, you’re missing out on your life. You’re tired, you’re exhausted, and feel guilty when you’re always short-staffed. But you also have to pay your bills.

The only way you can have a life is if you make enough money that you don’t have to work so much and can have greater balance.”

- Alina, medical lab assistant, part of the health care team