Care Aids, or Health Care Workers or Nurse’s Aids can enter their vocations after paying the least amount of money with, in my experience, the highest return on investment.  Consider the cost at about $1500 $5,000 for nine months of training with an end salary of $20 – $25/hour. Compare that with an office worker who can pay up to $20.000 for a minimum wage position.

Over the years, I have helped several dozen care aids find work, and I believe I now have it down to a science.  

1. View the health care system as a paramilitary organization.

Because it is.

Just as the armed forces has generals and admirals and privates and seamen, health care has doctors, administrators, head nurses,  registered nurses, practical nurses ending with care aids having the least responsibility and doing the most physical work with patients.  When you recognize this, you also recognize that a care aid who needs  a  counsellor to market them directly to an employer is not going to get very far.

“And why can’t they apply themselves?” The receptionist would ask you as you wave their resume at them. “Are they unable to walk? Anyway, they have to apply on line.”

2. Help them apply on line

In the health care system, one applies on line as a means of banking information in a central location. Make sure the resume has the registration number on it, and that there is more training information about health care procedures than information about customer service skills at Home Depot. It counts a little, but not much

3. Your job is driving.

Sorry. When you’re finding a job for a care aid, you are simply a driver.  You’re a very highly paid driver, but a driver none the less. On the way to your first facility, you give instructions:

  • He friendly and smile
  • Ask for the director of care
  • Tell them why you’re there
  • Get their cards
  • Get them to make a favourable first impression

4. On the way to the second facility …

Why not do a little interview practice. You know them. “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” You say.

“I hate that question,” she says.

You can get a lot of quality work done when you’re driving.

5. Help them follow up.

The formula I use is that for every hour spent driving from place-to-place, there should be an hour of follow-up. This could mean:

  • Phone calls to the Directors to let them know that you have applied on line
  • Writing thank you notes to people who have given them interviews (I always tell my clients that if they don’t want the job, don’t write a thank you note.
  • Don’t phone them up to tell them you have new shoes or you  trimmed your nails. Remember, you aren’t their friend.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.




  1. Sharon Says:

    Great info in a funny package. You have it nailed, Mike.

    One question: In para 1 you say training cost is $1500 $5000. Huh? Is that the range of cost?

  2. mikebroderick Says:

    Up here there are public community colleges that offer quality training for about #1500. The trouble is that they have a long waiting list and it may take 2 years to get in. There are also private colleges that offer the same curriculum for a lot more money, but there is no wait list. A student needs to decide whether they need to start making a decent income sooner or later.

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