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Katie Holness: Home Care Attendant
My heart feels full. It’s rewarding and I really feel appreciated… I enjoy what I do. To think, I might have missed this. I never would have thought I could have been part of the health care field.
Local 402 - Prairie Mountain Community Support
If you had told Katie Holness ten years ago that she would be working in the middle of a viral outbreak at a western Manitoba care home during a once-in-a-century pandemic, she never would have believed you.
Originally from British Columbia, Katie had never been to the prairies when she moved to eastern Saskatchewan with her husband six years ago. While she was working at a hotel, a co-worker – who took notice of her friendly disposition and helpful demeanor – suggested that she might enjoy working in health care.
Katie wasn’t sure at first about going back to school and starting a new career, but she investigated the Health Care Aide Program at the University College of the North in Swan River, and enrolled.
“I loved it. I just really put myself into it and got everything I could out of it. And the schooling was wonderful,” recalls Katie.
For the past three and a half years she has worked as a Home Care Attendant in Prairie Mountain Health, and loved every minute of it.
But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and she could see its impact on seniors and the lives it had taken, she knew she wanted to do more.
“One day I received a message asking if we’d help in the Grandview Care Home outbreak. The more I thought about it, the more I was drawn to it like a magnet,” Katie recalled. “I left December 2nd and I lived in Grandview until January 1st… I got home and I couldn’t wait to get back and help some more.”
That is how Katie now finds herself at the Personal Care Home in McCreary, MB, where she’ll be working until February 7th.
She has relished the opportunity to help seniors when they’ve needed it most and she has loved seeing how closely it’s brought so many health care professionals on the frontlines together during this trying time.
“We all just work together, learn from each other, and feed off each other. There are so many people doing a lot together. I’m just a small part of what’s going on.”
Katie says it’s also been amazing to see the response from people in the communities, who have been so welcoming.
“A group of ladies made hats for us in Grandview. They were so comfortable. I had three hats given to me and I thought, how wonderful? It meant a lot to me.”
Being in the care homes, seeing some residents in their 80s and 90s recover from COVID, and now seeing residents receive the vaccine has made her more hopeful than ever. While the days are long, and sometimes exhausting, she says they’re also incredibly gratifying.
“My heart feels full. It’s rewarding and I really feel
appreciated… I enjoy what I do. To think, I might have missed this. I never
would have thought I could have been part of the health care field.”