If you are looking into jobs in the Canadian health care industry, then a career as a healthcare aide may be perfect for you. Training classes for health care aids, sometimes called nursing attendants, are relatively brief, so you can begin a new career much more quickly when embarking in this career than you can if you decide to become a full-fledged nurse. Many people also work as health care aids to pay the bills as they go to school to become nurses. If you want to succeed in this industry, there are a few secrets that can help you.
1. Get in Shape
As a healthcare aide, you will be responsible for a lot of patient transport duties. You will not only be responsible for feeding, bathing, and helping patients with daily living activities, but you will also be responsible for getting patients to and from the dinner table, shower or bath, and activities.
You will have many patients who will need your help getting into and out of their wheelchairs that they use to get around a healthcare facility. This is where being in shape can make your life as an aide easier. The more upper-body strength you have, the less likely you are to pull a muscle or experience pain at the end of a long shift. Don't worry too much--you will gain strength on-the-job. However, starting in strong, healthy shape will make your job easier from the start.
2. Become Certified Before Seeking a Job
While healthcare facilities can offer on-the-job training for their health care aides, this training alone will not lead to certification. Most facilities would also much rather hire someone who is already certified. Training a new employee is a huge risk for any healthcare facility, as they never know if the trainee will stick around after being trained. If they train an employee, then the employee decides to work elsewhere, that means that the training facility just lost the investment they made in training time.
There are also advantages for you when learning at a healthcare aide school instead of learning on-the-job. When trained on-the-job, you will be taught skills customized to the specific facility you are working at. This means that if you do decide to find another job later at a different facility, then you may have a harder time getting the job and then becoming used to an entire new way of doing things.
When you train at an independent healthcare aide school, you will learn everything you need to know to work in any healthcare facility, and you will become certified after learning. This means that moving from one company to another for a higher salary or better benefits in the future will be much easier.
Reach out to a health care aide school, like ABES College (Alberta Business Education Services), for more information on the certification process.
3. Avoid Burnout
It is important to avoid burnout when working in the healthcare industry. Nurse burnout can strike healthcare aides as well as full-fledged nurses. It can be avoided when you are aware of the risk and take steps to prevent it. You will work with the elderly and/or ill patients, and while it is important to be empathetic to their health problems, you must separate your work and home lives. A great way to do this is to perform a relaxing ritual every day after work, such as taking a hot bath or meditating, then making a commitment to not think about work until your next shift begins.
Also, there will be an occasional ill patient who will tug on your heartstrings, so if you find yourself feeling down over a patient's ill health, know when to speak to a workplace counselor about it. Healthcare facilities are great about offering counseling to their employees to help them deal with patient losses and illness. In the end, you must remember all of the lives you are helping and try to focus on that more than unavoidable health hardships patients may be facing.
A job as a healthcare aide is rewarding mentally and monetarily. If you are dedicated, then you can succeed in making this a great new career. Remember these secrets to success, and you can then help others while keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy, as well.