“I work as a program secretary at a cancer centre in Northern BC. I’ve been working here since 2013.
I basically support everyone in the building on various things like payroll, minutes, or some internal communications work for the staff. For a while, I was even the IT person because we weren’t able to hire IT staff. So, my job is really varied and it’s interesting because every day can look a little different.
During COVID, our centre had a shortage of clerks, so I was pulled into doing some clerk work, and took on double duties. Looking back, all of the uncertainty and anxiety at the beginning of the pandemic definitely affected my mental health.
But after a while, being at work felt safer than being in the community, especially with all of the protections and protocols put in place.
I’m a helper. I love to help. What brought me to cancer care was that about 10 years ago, I lost my mother to cancer. I still mourn her death and the feeling of loss ebbs and flows. But the care she received in our health care system was phenomenal.
At the cancer clinic, the radiation therapy department, the nurses, clerks, the radiation therapists – everyone was so incredibly kind and compassionate. And I wanted to find a way to give back.
So, that’s what drove me to the work I’m doing today and keeps me there. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted for my Mom, but the journey was so important. I couldn’t have asked for better care for her.
And while I don’t feel strong enough to be on the frontlines, if I can support the people who provide the direct care for patients, then I feel like I’m doing my part.”
Charity, Program Secretary, part of the health care team