Introducing… a health care aide

Introducing… a health care aide

Rocky Tumolo is a health care aide at the Urgent Care Centre (UCC). He has worked at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) for 28 years. He started as a part-time food handler at the Chedoke Continuing Care Center, while still in high school.

When you tell people what you do, how do they usually react?
People are usually confused when I tell them my job title. I explain my role simply as being a nurse’s helper. I am their extra pair of hands when two is not enough. I also ensure the UCC is adequately stocked with supplies. I do all of our ordering. I keep a check on our emergency carts for stock and products that are near expiration. I also keep the UCC building in check most often by running inspections and daily quality control checks. My colleagues tell me that I am key to keeping the UCC running like a well oiled machine. In the end I always get a positive reaction with: “You are doing a great job!”

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What do you love most about your job?
I love how unique my job is. I have my normal duties, but I also have responsibilities that go beyond the job description. I am the first person staff go to for issues regarding equipment failure or building issues. I am also a certified Health and Safety Committee member, which allows me to work in a whole other capacity. I know my input here has value and it makes me excited for work each day.

Describe your most challenging day at work.
My most challenging day was in my previous role, as a Health Care Aide at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Labour and Delivery called and said there were quadruplets on the way to our unit. I helped move other fragile and delicate babies to alternate locations to ensure the quadruplets could be near one another. Since the babies were all very tiny, I had to move quickly and safely all while setting them up for a surgical procedure. A limited amount of time and fast planning made it challenging.

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Do you have a confidant at HHS?
Kathy Mackinnon and Bryon O’Neal are both my confidants. I am rather new to Health and Safety for HHS, but they are guiding me through every step of the way. Kathy is a Health Care Aide and Bryon is an Environmental associate.  I meet up with them on the first Tuesday of every month.  We all represent CUPE 7800 for Occupational Health and Safety.  Kathy is our leader and main speaker.  Bryon handles the teaching part of it. Both are very passionate with  Health and Safety in the work place.

What do you eat to keep you energized at work?
Before work I have orange juice with plain Greek yogurt. On my first break, I always have a hardboiled egg with oatmeal and coffee. Lunch is always different, but I try to keep it healthy.

What do you do after work to unwind?
My life after work continues to be busy. I have a one and a half year old daughter and one on the way. My free time is best spent with my family. Playing with my little girl and seeing that wonderful smile she gives me and my loving wife. My unwinding occurs when my daughter goes to sleep and I can catch up with current events on the news