OC health care grad launches her own business

By Public Affairs | January 21, 2021

OC Salmon Arm

A desire to better understand her mother’s struggle with dementia, and support her through it, inspired Susan Kyle to go back to school.

This Saturday, Kyle will be among the more than 2,000 Okanagan College students receiving their credentials during OC’s first-ever virtual convocation ceremony.

“Congratulations to all of our graduating students from the Revelstoke and Salmon Arm campuses,” says Joan Ragsdale, Regional Dean for Shuswap-Revelstoke. “Over the past year, you’ve demonstrated resilience, determination and tremendous flexibility. You completed your studies despite any challenges the pandemic put in your path, and we could not be prouder of your accomplishments.”

Kyle, who studied at the Salmon Arm campus, leaves OC with her Health Care Assistant Certificate. She also comes away with new skills and perspective.

“I changed in the way I wanted to change,” says Kyle, who notes that the program allowed her to improve her practical skills working with Health in Revelstoke for a year. It also gave her opportunities to apply her organizational skills as a mother.

“I want other women with kids to know that you can go back to school and into the workforce,” she adds.

As a mature student in the program, Kyle says she felt welcomed and enjoyed the open communication and collaboration between students. She was also inspired by how serious her fellow students were at succeeding.

Throughout Kyle’s time in the program, her mother was struggling with dementia. She enrolled in the program to begin with to learn more about the condition and the health care system. And in the end, she says the program allowed her to properly support her mother before she passed away.

Kyle’s story also marks a new beginning. Since completing her program, she has wasted no time in combining her newfound skills with her passion for entrepreneurship in starting her own home care business.

“You’d be amazed by how many clients you can get,” says Kyle. “There’s a need for home health care aids, and providing that service is a huge thing for me.”

Kyle points out that her own business has brought flexibility to her everyday life, good pay and a sense of fulfillment through helping those in need. She emphasizes that individuals who want to stay at home and work part-time can do so in this field.

Those looking to follow in her footsteps in Salmon Arm are in luck.

This April, the Health Care Assistant Certificate will be offered again at the Salmon Arm campus. The six-month program provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be successful working in home support, assisted living, cognitive care, private care, and mental health care.

“Use your organizational skills,” says Kyle, by way of advice. “The program is about collaboration and learning from not just your instructor, but your fellow peers. Use the people around you to learn and use the time you spend at school to your full advantage.”

“Our HCA grads are in high demand,” notes Ragsdale. “The program has a great reputation in industry and the community for the quality of graduates and their level of preparedness. This program is a great opportunity for anyone looking to get into the health care field – and indeed it’s a field that’s in dire need of skilled workers across many different settings.”

Anyone interested in tuning into for the College’s first-ever virtual convocation ceremony can watch the pre-recorded ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 at www.okanagan.bc.ca/virtualconvocation.

Tags: Health Care Assistant, Convocation, Salmon Arm, Inside OC



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