Stories of the Heart
Eight months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. While it left many out of a job, others needed to give more than they ever had. ‘Stories of the Heart,’ a short film from The BC Centre for Palliative Care, recounts the experience of four Health Care Assistants (HCAs) in British Columbia; stories of patience, perseverance, and empathy. The compilation of real experiences from over 80 HCAs formed what these four actors share. This is a short film that is definitely worth the watch.
Throughout the first few months of the pandemic, we could hear clapping, howling, and the banging of pots and pans at 7 p.m. every night in honour of our front line health-care workers in British Columbia. Still, in ‘Stories of the Heart,’ one HCA expresses he sometimes feels ‘invisible to everyone.’ Then he recalls a time when the community sent a gift basket to the care team where he works and that this reminded him of how the work they do is valued and recognized.
These stories are important because they show us what is happening behind the scenes and help us better understand the challenges HCAs all around our province are facing. Take a minute and think about how it would feel caring for an aging adult who could not receive visitors or even see your smile because it was hidden behind a mask. Or what it would feel like to not be able to hug your toddler when you came home, afraid of infecting them. This work requires creativity, such as organizing a dance party to bring the mood up at lunchtime, compassion, and so much heart.
Although these have been challenging times, one HCA says that she ‘can’t imagine doing anything else,’ stating that this work ‘feeds your soul.’ ‘You get these special moments,’ she says, recounting a time at the end of her work shift where a resident she knew well was dying. She stayed with him until the end, not wanting him to be alone. She felt honoured to have been there for him in that moment.
‘Stories of the Heart’ will speak to your heart; it will give you hope in humanity. Watch and share it with your family, friends, and colleagues, and remember to show kindness to HCAs who do so much for us and our loved ones daily.
Watch ‘Stories of the Heart’ here:
The BC Centre for Palliative Care has gathered multiple resources, from recorded webinars to links to education, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They aim to help Health Care Assistants with this life-limiting illness. Visit: https://bc-cpc.github.io/covid/ for more information.
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