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Daniel Callahan

daniel callahan


Daniel Callahan is in his 40s and has had many jobs in construction, often shifting from one job and employer to another. That was until last year when he helped a friend change his arm bandage and was told that he did a better job than the nurse did. This got him thinking about nursing as a career. So he took the nursing assistant class at Gateway Technical College and found that the training seemed like "second nature to me; I liked it!"

Dan is now employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Grande Prairie Health and Rehab. As a nursing assistant he performs basic healthcare; patient care which may include feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, ambulating; and other forms of restoration care.

"My friends and family are not surprised at my career choice. They say it's in my nature and personality to help people. Caregiving is not just a job to me. It is not about punching a clock or working just to get paid. It is about striving to make my patients comfortable and happy. Caregivers must have compassion for people. All people. It's about people!"

"I love my job! I even love the challenges caregiving can bring. I find it hard to necessarily walk away for demanding residents. Some residents have their call light on all the time. Even when I know that they are safe and secure, I wish I could take more time to give to each of them, something more."

"I like to figure out what makes people smile, especially the "grumpy" ones. Each individual is unique, so I focus on them and learn the things they like. Most times that works! Simple things like learning to put their socks on "just right", or getting them to the library and finding just the right book, or just talking to them about their life. It is those little things that can make them smile. It's all about them!"

With more "hands-on" experience, Dan is sure he will make a better decision about the kind of nursing he will do in the future. Ideally, he will soon be able to continue his education at Gateway, become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and learn even more. He stays focused on the future.

CNA wages are low compared to construction, but Dan feels right now, during this current economic slowdown with many people being laid off, that all wages are going down. His wage is barely adequate to support himself and his daughter, but he hopes to soon qualify for benefits. Dan feels strongly that he will find excellent support from coworkers at his job. He can work and still continue his education in nursing. Long term care healthcare is a perfect fit for him now, and hopefully in the future.

Dan's supervisor reported, "Although Dan has only been with us for a month now, his dedication to quality of care is exceptional. You often do not see this attribute right away in an individual’s newly-certified and new to long-term care. Especially when the individual had a career in another industry, transition is not easy, but Dan has made a significant impression and many residents look for him to arrive on duty. I look forward to him continuing to be a valuable member of our team at Grande Prairie and to watching him grow in his new career."