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A practical relationship

Camosun alumni start and stay with Broadmead Care

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For more than 20 years, Camosun has had a close relationship with Broadmead Care, a network of communities in Greater Victoria that provide care for veterans, seniors and adults with disabilities. Trained professional staff support people who require assistance every day to live their lives as fully and meaningfully as possible.

Broadmead Care has offered practicum opportunities for Camosun students training to become health care assistants, licensed practical nurses, or activity workers. Students have the opportunity to work in their respective areas alongside the staff, gaining valuable knowledge and experience. In many cases, Broadmead Care has offered employment to practicum students after they graduate from their program.

Here are four Camosun alumni who have started and continued their health care careers at Broadmead Care.

Sarah Dickson

Health Care Assistant, Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead

Camosun Class of 2010

Sarah Dickson volunteered in care homes long before she became a registered health care assistant. Her mother was a nurse who introduced her to the world of health care, and Sarah discovered a fondness for working with seniors. This inspired her to pursue a formal health care education at Camosun.

After completing the Health Care Assistant program, Sarah started work at the Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead, a community for seniors and adults with disabilities. “You can’t help but get close to residents,” she says. “I’ve lost people that I’ve gotten attached to.”

The team supports each other through times of loss, and works closely with nurses and other workers to create a caring environment where residents can thrive. “To be there for others in their final years and to make their days pleasant is an important duty. I genuinely care so much about the people I care for.”


Miguel Cerda

Health Care Assistant, Broadmead Care

Camosun Class of 2008

Miguel Cerda didn’t always want to be a health care assistant. He felt he was never good enough in school and always struggled with tests, but his sister had other ideas. She knew Miguel needed to do something to help others, and as a health care worker herself, she knew just the career. “By the way, I enrolled you in Camosun’s Health Care Assistant program,” she told Miguel one day. “You start tomorrow.”

The program surprised him. “I didn't know this was for me until Camosun!” he laughs. Patient instructors showed Miguel how to be patient himself, and he learned to succeed in his coursework with their help.

Miguel wasn’t even finished his practicum before Broadmead hired him for a full-time position. “Camosun gave me the confidence to make a life for myself.” Miguel continues to work at Broadmead today, and loves it.

The culture of the community and the team he works with make Broadmead special for Miguel. Staff members are reliable, ethical, and accountable, and have a good sense of humour. “I work with good people,” says Miguel. “We help each other out, we learn the value of collaboration.”


Michael James Ralph

Licensed Practical Nurse, Broadmead Care

Camosun Class of 2005

Michael James Ralph discovered his passion for health care through his relationship with his grandparents. As a child, he loved spending time with them at a senior’s facility, and he noticed how the staff created a caring environment and sense of contentment in the residents.

These memories stayed with him once it was time to choose a career path as an adult, and Michael enrolled in Camosun’s LPN program. “I felt comfortable,” Michael says. “It was okay not to know everything, and I never felt pressured.”

As he worked through the program, he learned not only medical skills but the value of collaboration. “When health care workers collaborate and are open to input and ideas, they discover many ways to tackle projects,” he says. “Ways that none of them might have thought of alone.”

Today, he puts his compassionate collaboration skills to good use caring for patients in the dementia and palliative care unit at Broadmead.


Jim Oldnall

Site Manager and Health Informatics Lead, Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead

Camosun Class of 1992

Like many health care practitioners, Jim Oldnall was inspired to study nursing by his mother. While visiting her in hospital during a health crisis, she saw that his calm personality helped her to cope. She remarked, “You’d make a good nurse.” This started Jim on a journey in nursing.

After graduating from Camosun’s Nursing program, Jim joined the team at what is now the Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead. More than 25 years later, Jim is still part of the Broadmead community and has moved into a leadership role.

“The people here take pride in what they do,” he says of his colleagues. “They feel strongly about their work and the clients they care for. My job is to help them succeed.”

Jim still exudes passion for what he does. He loves solving problems and helping others solve their own. Most importantly, he values the face-to-face communication with staff, residents and families that is a daily part of his work. “With my years of experience as a nurse, I happily share what I’ve learned. I help my staff navigate the system and do the best work they can do.”

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