Finding an outlet for her energy

As a health care aide, Lucy Chambliss would dance on the job. Her next move? Recreation therapy.

When Lucy Chambliss was working as a health care aide in Winnipeg, there was an isolated resident who was apprehensive about joining any activities. Lucy’s manager asked her to approach the resident, and Lucy started to sing and dance. The resident lit up and laughed. 

She continued to visit with this resident on a regular basis. 

Lucy, who had been working as a health care aide for four years, eventually noticed her passion was moving towards recreation.

Lucy had moved to Calgary in February of 2018. She applied to the Recreation Therapy Aide Certificate at Bow Valley College three days before applications closed. 

“I needed something to bring me out and use all my energy,” says Lucy. “I needed something fulfilling and purposeful. When I tried recreation therapy — thank God I did.” 
Since enrolling in the certificate, she also says her bond with her family is “way stronger.” 

With the residents at Carewest Dr. Vernon Fanning, where she just finished her practicum, she would play games such as Uno and cribbage. At home, her two sons, seven and 10, used to spend a lot of time playing computer games. Now, when she comes home, they play the same games she played in her placement. 

“Honestly, it's actually something that brought my family together. While we play the game, you tend to hear discussion, oh mom, this is what happened at school.”

Lucy encourages anyone interested to try the career path. “It's not stressful. It helps you in every way: cognitively, socially, emotionally, spiritually.”

If you’re a health care aide looking to add to what you can offer, consider the Recreation Therapy Aide Certificate. To learn about how you can use activities to improve the well-being of clients, visit the certificate page

Posted on February 6, 2019

Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photos by Chris Bolin

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