Working as a care aide has been extremely motivating and humbling

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“I work in an acute care hospital and long-term care facility as a food service worker and a care aide.
My regular line is in the kitchen, and typically we prepare the basic dinner meals. But I frequently work as a care aide because we’ve been so short-staffed.
My work in the kitchen is fairly slow-paced, except on days when we have a full acute load and ER. I mostly work by myself. I handle all the food prep for the evening and serve dinner to the 16 residents, and then I do preparations for the cook for the next morning.
It’s very routine, and it keeps me sane in between the crazy shifts that I’ve had as a care aide.
My experience as a care aide started at the beginning of 2022 when I graduated from the care aide program through the Health Career Access Program (HCAP). It was life-changing for me to join the HCAP. 
I had been interested in health care working casual in housekeeping and food service for several months, but it was hard not having consistent work. When I got accepted into the HCAP, I dove into the world of learning to care for residents with dementia.
I got to experience hands-on work in the acute ward and emergency department assisting the nurses, taking vitals, and working with complex patients. I realized then that health care was the place for me.
Working as a care aide has been extremely motivating and humbling. I have worked with mental health patients and terminally ill patients. I have sat with several patients who have passed away while I’ve been working. It has changed me, and my experiences in the program have left a lasting impression on me.
Because of the HCAP, I was able to take the leap into health care. I’m now taking courses to try to get into nursing school. The effects of the HCAP have been wonderful in providing me an opportunity to jump into a career. The program funded me to go to school, paid me a living wage so that I could take time away from my family and job, and not suffer for it. 
There’s no way I could have done it without the HCAP. I’m so thankful to have been a part of it.”
- Ayla, Food Service Worker and Care Aide, part of the health care team