People of KHSC: Tracy Fox

News / General

People of KHSC celebrates individuals across the organization who capture the spirit of caring deeply for patients, families and each other

Personal care assistant (PCA) Tracy Fox says the people who choose her line of work are a ‘special breed,’ and that it’s not for everyone, as it requires a certain personality and caring skills to do this vital role and to be a successful member of the care team.

In addition to the technical skills needed to care for hospitalized patients when they are at their most vulnerable, Fox believes it is a PCAs interpersonal skills that really sets them apart. Having an uplifting nature and seeing things from another person’s perspective are a couple of the traits Fox thinks contribute to a PCA’s ability to find the best ways to meet patients’ needs.

“The best thing about my job is feeling satisfied knowing that I have brightened someone's day, even if it’s just by giving them a shower or telling them a joke. Over the 18 years I've worked on the neurosciences unit, I’ve found that joking with patients and singing really keeps the atmosphere light and positive."

While time spent with PCAs is often a highlight of a patient’s day, PCAs are there for the low moments as well. Fox says the hardest part of her job is not the physical requirements of helping someone twice her size bathe or dress, or turning a patient over in bed, it’s “seeing a patient cry, because they have lost the ability to care for themselves.”

“When mentoring new PCAs I remind them about the human factor; these patients were once healthy people and are trying to adapt to their new impairments, which takes lots of patience, listening and understanding. In this way, I really feel I have made a difference in a lot of people’s lives, helping them to live their lives to their full available potential.”

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