Stephanie worked in Mental Health and Addictions Services as a Medical Office Assistant (MOA) where she answered phones, de-escalated situations by phone or in-person, booked injection appointments, wrote letters, uploaded documents to provincial software, and communicated with clients. She’s worked in the drive through, test centres, and mobile in the inner city over the past year. Now she works in the MRI department at RUH. She’s proud to be a Jack of all trades!

She loves her job and enjoys her interactions with patients. She has been a Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) employee for over two years. She always felt a pull towards this line of work and when she, like many others, lost her job due to COVID, she decided to upgrade her education and apply for the COVID response team. She now has her Medical Terminology, Managing Pressure Certificate in Adult Education, and Legal Assistant Certificate. She says that COVID provided her an opportunity to find her future and rewarding career. It wasn’t an easy path, but one she’s grateful for.

Working through the pandemic has been exhausting, rewarding, and almost like watching something you would see on TV.

At times, you could forget what unions you are in, what title you had, and work as a glorious unified team. Status did not matter, they each had an important roll to play. Director, Manager, nurse, admin... everyone was on the floor pitching in.

In her job, she educates and eases the minds of those who have questions. She explains why everyone still has to wear a mask in SHA facilities, whether people are happy about it or not. Those who are stressed about the relaxed guidelines, she reassures them by saying, “We can't control what others do but we can control what we do, just like before.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, she would sometimes be angry at people for not being safe and then she came to realize that covid doesn't judge. Why should she?

One day a woman came into the drive thru, Stephanie went up to the car and before she could say anything, the woman started sobbing. She could hardly talk, saying that she had always been safe. Stephanie told her that the best first step was coming there, to the testing site. Stephanie reminds us that it’s not our place to judge who is safe because we don't know everyone's story.

She can't speak for everyone, but there are times when the emotional fatigue outweighs the physical as a front line health care worker working through the pandemic. There is a dread in the back of her mind that there may be another outbreak.

Stephanie wants to remind our government as rewarding as a job in health care, is there are many dangers associated with working in the sector, and that it's difficult to attract people into the field with the pay scale being so low.

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