As a recent university graduate, COVID-19 took away a lot of what I was looking forward to. My last visits to my favourite shops and restaurants, final goodbyes to friends and classmates, and most of all a convocation ceremony. Having to move out of my apartment earlier than I expected to return to my home town with total uncertainty of what was to come next was very difficult. I didn’t know if I’d be able to find employment over the summer to save up for my next round of schooling with all of the business closures. I had moved back in with my parents for about two months’ time, feeling discouraged about what this summer would have to offer.
I had been doing a lot of reminiscing of the summer of 2019: going to the beach, seeing friends, traveling, and working for Plan A. I worked for the Plan A Timmins office as a summer student. I learned just how short-staffed LTC homes really are, and the stress that is placed on nurses and PSWs when there aren’t enough people working during their shifts. I learned how much work goes into recruiting and hiring adequate staff to fill shifts and the behind the scenes work of the office staff. Plan A does so much work for the LTC sector, and having a grandmother who lives in LTC, it gave me peace of mind to know that there are people working tirelessly every day to try and improve the care that she, and so many other vulnerable seniors, are receiving.
One morning, as I steeped my daily tea, I saw that I had an email from Plan A. My former boss, Jackie Chow, had reached out to see if I would be interested in helping the team manage social media from home. I was very grateful to know that the Plan A team thought of me and reached out. The company does so much for its nursing staff and clients across the country, but they also take care of their office staff. I instantly felt a greater sense of security. I knew that I would only be able to help remotely from home, but I wanted to do anything I could to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Managing social media accounts gave me a sense of purpose and accomplishment because I knew that social media is a major part of recruitment. With recruitment comes new staff, and new staff means more people helping those who are most vulnerable, especially during these unprecedented times.
I believe it is important to remember that COVID-19 has affected all of us. Whether you missed your convocation, had to cancel that trip you’ve been waiting for, or have experienced first hand how life-threatening the virus can be, we have all been impacted in some way. I strongly believe that our frontline workers are heroes, but not all heroes wear capes – or scrubs. There are many people, like the Plan A Timmins office staff, who have dedicated their time to the fight against COVID-19. I salute you!
~Hayley Hebert, Plan A Timmins