By: Mario Tacardon, Patient Care Assistant, Surgery
I’ve been passionate about helping people for as long as I can remember. That’s always been my goal.
‘Respect your co-workers perspectives – you can learn a lot that way.’
My career in service began years ago in the Philippines. I was a police officer in the narcotics division. I would volunteer, on my own time, to visit grade five and six students and talk to them about drug prevention. I learned early on how important it is to work together and respect your co-workers perspectives. You can learn a lot that way.
Seventeen years ago I moved to Canada and my wife and I settled down with our kids, I wanted to continue to help people. I love connecting with people, hearing their stories, and bringing positive energy. Healthcare seemed like a perfect fit.
After completing a Personal Support Worker course and working with seniors in the community for many years, I accepted the role of Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at Michael Garron Hospital. Now, I feel so lucky to be helping patients in East Toronto. I’ve been here for 10 years.
‘We respect that we each have something to bring to the table’
As a PCA, I work directly with patients to take care of their personal care needs and daily routines, including bathing, dressing, hair washing and more.
The role of the PCA works very closely with nurses and team members to support patients and lend a hand on the unit. I can see clearly that everyone on the team has so much skills and knowledge to share. We work as a team. It’s never ‘my patient’ or ‘your patient’ – we address the needs of our patients together and respect that we each have something to bring to the table.
‘It’s important not to make assumptions’
As a team, we always pitch in and help when we can. We might not always agree, but we still know that we need to listen to each other. Then we can raise concerns in a respectful way.
Everyone has their own style and perspective, so it’s important not to make assumptions. Ask for opinions, ideas – listen – and be proactive about helping out. For example: raising safety concerns or unit repairs at huddles and even offer some solutions. I also try to cover the phones if someone is busy and it’s ringing and I give my team member the heads-up that a patient is asking for them.
It’s the little acts and gestures that can make the biggest difference. Bring positive energy, love what you do and respect the people you work with. There is no hard job as long as you love it.
I always wear my smile. I like to help others and it’s important to show it.