Jonathan Vanderkruk


Leaping towards a career

With Career Program Pathways, Jonathan Vanderkruk can pursue his passion.

Jonathan Vanderkruk was tired of short-term jobs. Since dropping out of high school in Grade 10 due to health issues, the 34-year-old worked in a variety of positions. After getting laid off from a security job with the former Calgary Health Region, he realized it was time for him to pursue something permanent — a career. 

While working at the hospital, however, Jonathan became interested in x-ray diagnostics. He decided he’d like to be a medical radiologic technologist (MRT), which involves positioning patients and recording images of disease or injury in a hospital, clinic, or public health agency. The only problem was he needed to complete many Grade 12 courses to qualify to train.  Because he dropped out of high school in Grade 10, it would have taken him a long time to complete Grade 12. “I started upgrading, but it was way too expensive, and way too much of a time sink,” he says, adding that he was working part-time at Alberta Health Services at the time. 

While working in that part-time job at Alberta Health Services as an aid in diagnostic imaging, he learned about orthopedic technicians: licensed practical nurses who specialize in bones. “The requirements for the [practical nurse stream] were a lot more reasonable,” he says. 

While researching education options at Bow Valley College (Jonathan had completed some upgrading courses here many years ago), knowing he still didn’t have the pre-requisites for the Practical Nurse Diploma, he discovered the Career Program Pathways – Health. The program prepares learners for the Practical Nurse Diploma, educating them in the required math, science, and communication disciplines. After only two terms, they get a reserved seat in the Practical Nurse Diploma. “Once I saw this option, I jumped at the chance.”

Now studying in Career Program Pathways – Health, Jonathan says he is enjoying challenging himself again and putting his whole mind to work. But he sees his education as just one step towards his “main excitement.”

“I’d still like to be an orthopedic technician, but I think I’ll do a little more looking around before I decide to specialize,” he says.

He’s quite sure he’ll land as an orthopedic technician, though. “I’d like to work in emergency.”

Posted on November 26, 2018

Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photos by Chris Bolin

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