When it comes to first jobs, everyone must start somewhere. For most of us, it’s working part-time at a fast-food restaurant or a busy clothing store. For 19-year-old Rachel Howey, it’s helping the hospital run smoothly as a Hospital Clerk.
Growing up in Surrey, B.C., Rachel spent most of her teens keeping to herself. She was loud and outgoing with her family but was an introvert in public. She was always self-aware enough to know what was in her best interest, and she realized early on that public school was not. So, in grade 9, with the support of her mom, she made the choice to transition to online schooling.
My mom is a nurse and had colleagues who had done the Stenberg program. She recommended it to me, and I decided this was what I wanted to do.
Whenever Rachel felt anxious, she used digital art as an outlet. From a young age, she loved playing with colours and patterns and creating something out of nothing. For a while, she even considered pursuing a career as a Graphic Designer.
Life after high school
Things changed once she graduated high school. Like most teens, Rachel was unsure about what career path she would take. She knew she wanted a rewarding career that would be conducive to her soft-spoken, yet strong and confident personality. After some research, Rachel came across Stenberg’s Hospital Clerk Diploma program. “My mom is a nurse and had colleagues who had done the Stenberg program. She recommended it to me, and I decided this was what I wanted to do.” To Rachel, this program would be the perfect stepping-stone to begin her career. Hospital Clerks work primarily as administrators and can choose positions that involve minimal contact with the public, while still having a positive impact in their communities. Having a flexible schedule would also mean Rachel could work on her art in her spare time. For someone like Rachel, it was the perfect fit.
At 18 years old, she began her educational journey. The program was online due to COVID-19, which was comfortable for Rachel as she was familiar with online learning. Even though she was the youngest in her class with no previous post-secondary experience, she excelled. Her instructors spoke highly of her. Nashifa Green says, “Rachel was extremely hardworking and diligent. She never missed a single homework assignment in any of her classes. The assignments she turned in never lacked depth. She inspired other students in the class to participate and was always a team player. It was such a pleasure to teach her.”
Putting theory into practice
Rachel completed her practicum at Peace Arch Hospital, where her monitor praised her personality and work ethic, “Rachel began practicum a little quiet but was eager to learn and ask questions. She caught on quickly and was soon very much a part of the team. She stepped up and helped the clinic when we faced a staffing crisis.” Rachel graduated from Stenberg with an impressive 89% grade point average. Hired directly out of practicum, Rachel has been working full-time as a casual Booking Clerk in Peace Arch Hospital’s Medical Imaging department.
I was speaking on the phone with a patient, helping her with an appointment. She complimented me on my professionalism and tone, which made my day.
Life after graduation
Today, Rachel loves her career and has become more confident interacting with the public in her workplace. She feels so fulfilled when patients come back and recognize her or comment on her helpfulness, “I was speaking on the phone with a patient, helping her with an appointment. She complimented me on my professionalism and tone, which made my day.”
Working at the hospital has allowed Rachel to observe various careers in the medical setting, opening her eyes to a world of possibilities. Being in this environment has inspired Rachel to consider returning to school to become a Registered Nurse, just like her mom.