Health Programs in Vocational Training


 … it's never too late for an exciting career

Students at West Island Career Centre and PACC Career Centre come from a variety of backgrounds. Meet Denise, Leona and Seth from LBPSB Health programs, who prove that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Denise – Medical Office Specialist

I hadn’t been in school for over 35 years as I was a stay-at-home parent. My oldest son is a doctor and we had discussed that, one day, I would like to work for him. I didn’t want to be “the Mom who doesn’t know how to do the job, but got the job”, so I decided to go to school to learn to be a medical office specialist. I wanted to accomplish something for me, not for someone else.

It took a lot of courage to go back to school after so many years. My experience using a computer was VERY limited. I knew how to send e-mails, but I was a two-finger typist – I began the first class typing at about 2 words per minute. Everything I learned at WICC I was seeing for the very first time.

Apart from learning everything I need to know for the job, I also learned that I was able to overcome my fears. I loved learning new things. Even though I was older than the other students, I made some great friends in my group. I was already bilingual, but my English was nowhere near as good as it is now. The program gave me so much.

Now I handle all of the billing for my son’s dermatology practice. As soon as he opens his new clinic, in the next month or so, I will be working in the office with him.

Leona – Health Assistance & Nursing

When I started the Nursing Assistant program, I had been out of school for over 15 years. Our group quickly became a family unit – I’m still in touch with many of my classmates. The teachers were all so supportive. At one point, things got difficult and I needed to take some time off.

The teachers all contacted me and said “you need to come back, you need to finish this”. It was thanks to them that I did.

I had some awesome stages. On the last day of our stage in an elder care facility, an LPN on staff came running and said a patient was choking, wasn’t breathing. I ran and got the suction machine and I got the vitals machine. I went with the head nurse, and, after our intervention, the patient was fine. The head nurse turned to me and said “thank you, you just saved a man’s life”.

It was very rewarding. There are many great moments in this profession.

I got a job offer where I’ll be working the morning shift in a medical centre that has a diabetes clinic, cardiology department and a pain management clinic. It’s very interesting because I’ll get to touch on everything.

Seth – Assistance in Health Care Facilities

I worked in customer service for most of my adult life, but I was looking for something satisfying. My wife, who is a nurse, said she thought I would make a good PAB. The basic things you need as a PAB are empathy and compassion. My wife said “I’m pretty sure that, once you get into it, you will thank me.” She was right.

I hadn’t been in school for 30 years and I had never studied in Canada. It was a big challenge studying and going to school with students the same age as my kids. At the beginning, it was tough. But I hung in there. My own kids were proud of me, encouraging me.

I finished the program in September and I started working the next week. I have been working in home care assistance. Working is not only about the money, it’s about the satisfaction you get from going through an eight hour shift and the lives you touch. You learn so much about yourself, you have a whole new outlook on life. The icing on the cake is that you have job security, you have people calling you.

For more information on the Health, Assistance & Nursing, Assistance in Health Care Facilities, Home Care Assistance and Medical Office Specialist programs, visit our website: