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Blog Posts

Community Support Worker Student Daniel Belimac Shares His Experience

I immigrated to Canada with my family in hopes of a seeking a better quality of life. Growing up my parents always encouraged me to seek out higher education to ensure that I could have a bright future. So when my mother graduated from Drake Medox as a Health Care Assistant, she persuaded me to look in to the programs offered at the college. That’s when I stumbled upon the Community Support Worker Program, which sparked my interest.  At that time I had no clue what the role of a CSW would entail so I continued to do research and found that many of my prerequisite courses for Psych Nursing correlated with CSW.   This interested me because I knew that an investment in this program could help me towards my future career goals.

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One of the biggest obstacles faced by many who want to attend a college such as Drake Medox is the financial investment required to enroll.  Many people have heard about Government Student Loans, but are not sure how it all works, or even if they qualify.  Here is some basic information provided by one of our Financial Advisors Kunqi based on the questions she is most frequently asked.

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Daryl Lagayan, one of our newest instructors here at Drake Medox College, tells us a bit about himself in this interview.What led you to your current role as a Health Care Assistant Instructor?

I have been working in healthcare for over 7 years, and am currently an LPN serving the residents of a beautiful care home in the heart of Vancouver.  Because I find my work so rewarding, I am always eager to share my experiences and knowledge with others who aspire to work in the field.  It is because of this that I decided to take on a teaching assignment at Drake Medox College.

What is the best piece of advice you offer your students?“Memorize and you will forget…understand and you will remember.”What are some of the prevailing trends you are seeing out in the field?Advances in technology are definitely impacting the way we conduct our day-to-day work more and more.  Many sites are now equipped with Electronic MAR and IPads for charting.  Even residents are becoming more technologically savvy using cell phones and Skype to communicate with their families.  This really puts the onus on us as instructors to ensure that our graduates are ready to meet the ever evolving demands of their roles as Health Care Assistants.Demand for males is particularly high in the field right now; what advice would you give to men who are considering a career as a Health Care Assistant?I can tell you from my own personal experience that men who are making this career choice for the right reasons will find this job very rewarding.  The earning potential is very good, and the opportunity to use this program as a stepping stone to other healthcare professions like nursing makes this a great choice!  What are your interests outside of your work?I very much enjoy photography and music.  I actually have a little studio in my home concentrating on portrait and child photography.  I also love to take landscape and architectural photos whenever I travel.  As for music, I have been playing a number of different instruments since I was about 10 years old, so this is also something I enjoy!Check out Daryl’s bio and those of other Drake Medox College instructors by visiting our website

An Interview With Activity Assistant Graduate Zaldy

Many people are not really clear on exactly what the role of an Activity Assistant is, and why someone would want to choose this as an area of study and a career path.  This month's blog post features an interview conducted with one of Drake Medox College's most dynamic and successful graduates Zaldy Espina who helps shed some light on this.zaldyZaldy, tell us a bit about your background prior to entering the Healthcare field.I was born and educated in the Philippines for a career in Hospitality Management.  I held many jobs there including positions as a Restaurant Manager and Customer Service Coordinator.  When I arrived to Canada, I continued to work in this field until I made the decision to do something different; something better for me!What motivated you to make a career change here in Canada?Given the current trends with the aging population, I saw a lot of opportunities in this field.  Not only are there many jobs available, but it is also a very rewarding career with good income prospects.You first completed your Health Care Assistant Diploma with Drake Medox College, and then the Activity Assistant  Program; why did you decide to do so?I wanted to expand my knowledge and skills in supporting individuals with varying challenges. I wanted to help and encourage the elderly in particular to have fun and enjoy a better quality of life. Having dual certification including an Activity Assistant diploma also opens up more opportunities for me in the Healthcare field.What have been the benefits of having dual certification in the workplace?I can work as either a Health Care Assistant or Activity Assistant.  Employers see this as a real benefit, and it allows me to enjoy more diversity in my work!What do you enjoy most about your work as an Activity Assistant?As an Activity Assistant you have the chance to get to know your residents better.  You are able to spend more time talking to them about their family, interests, culture, likes and dislikes.  It is through this understanding that you are able to provide them with the most personalized care and service possible.  Watching our residents happy and engaged is so fulfilling.  I take great pride in creating activities that will positively impact all dimensions of health and give them more reason to live and enjoy lift to the fullest.  What would you say to those who are considering to enroll in the Activity Assistant Program?I would tell them to go for it!   This job is lots of fun and very rewarding, especially if you enjoy recreation and activity, and have a passion for care and love for the elderly. This program can really help to open up more jobs, new challenges, and make your work even more meaningful!Thank you to Zaldy for taking time out of his very busy schedule to share his journey and inspiring message with us.  If you or someone you know is interested to learn more about Drake Medox's Activity Assistant Program call Angela @ 604 930-4517.


I recently joined the Drake Medox College team of instructors. I am teaching the Community Support Worker Program at the Surrey Campus. This is the first time that I have written a blog post. One of my supervisors suggested that I could be introduced to the Drake network via this mode of social media, so here it goes.....For the past 27 years, I have worked in the realm of Pervasive Developmental disorders, predominantly Autism Spectrum Disorders. I fulfilled a variety of professional roles throughout the past nearly three decades of my career, but for the majority I have served individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their families as a Behaviour Consultant.  I started working as an instructor for Drake Medox in March, and I haven't stopped learning and changing ever since; I have never evolved this much in 9 weeks. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to teach. I am honoured. I am humbled. My evolution thus far, with no signs of stopping, is of heart, mind and spirit, and has a life of its own. The material I am teaching to my students is challenging and compelling. Teaching it is an incredible learning experience for me, and my mind is definitely expanding. My students are so full of heart both individually and collectively. They intersect with the course content and sparks fly! They too challenge, inspire and enlighten me.  The possibility of facilitating their development into qualified and capable community support workers, and future team leaders and agents of positive change in our world, literally one life at a time, is both daunting and thrilling. My only hope is that my students are enjoying themselves as much as I am!I invite anyone interested in the Community Support Worker Program in Surrey to sit in on one of my classes.MelanieTo learn more about Melanie and other Drake Medox College instructors visit our website

Interview Tips for Healthcare Jobs

The provincial government recently announced a “significant funding boost to strengthen care for BC seniors”.   Click here for more details.


interviewMake sure you are ready to secure one of these new job opportunites during your next interview by applying these great tips:Set up a professional voicemail greeting. While in the process of a job search, you need to ensure that your voicemail message is professional.  This is often the first impression a prospective employer will make of you, and you want it to be favorable.  Make sure that your vm box is never full, or they may opt to skip right over you and move on to other candidates who are more easily accessible.Update your resume.  Your resume should always be current with employment and educational experiences listed in chronological order with most recent first.  Keep it concise and focused on healthcare related experience. ALWAYS have someone with strong written skills review and edit for grammar.Do your research. Learn about the company or organization you are applying at. Ensure you have a good understanding of the type of setting and care provided (i.e. residential care, assisted living, home support).Anticipate common questions.  Prepare your responses and rehearse them in advance.  Be ready to provide specific examples of challenging client situations you may have encountered in your past experience, and present how you handled it and what the outcome was.Prepare your questions to the interviewer.  Plan to ask insightful questions based on your research.  These questions should demonstrates a sincere interest in the position and in the company.Dress for success.  Plan your attire in advance; dress professionally.  For women, less make up and accessories is better. For men, shave and wear dress slacks and button down shirt with or without tie.Listen carefully to the interview question(s). If you did not understand the question, politely ask the interviewer to repeat it. Take a few seconds to organize your thoughts before responding.Be aware of your body language. Avoid fidgeting, sit up straight, and maintain good eye contact with the interviewer. Remember that body language often says just as much about you as your words do.Follow up.  Be sure to follow up promptly to any requests made by the interviewer; references for example.  This will reinforce your interest, and shows them that they can count on you to get things done quickly. If no specific follow up is required, a simple email thanking them for their time is appropriate.Special thanks to Drake Medox College's Health Care Assistant Program instructor Rexaira Henze for her contributions to this blog.  All current students and alumni are always welcome to reach out to college staff at any time for support with job search assistance @ 604-629-0196. 

A Word of Thanks….

Is joy a sign of generosity (as said Mother Teresa) or, is generosity a sign of joy? Whatever the case, generosity was shining joyfully on Saturday March 11th at Drake Medox College in Vancouver!  Students, Instructors and Administrative Staff contributed funds far beyond initial hopes and goals.Bake SaleA Bake Sale fund raiser yielded $600.00.  This amount will be tripled by the Canadian government which translates to a grand total of $1800.00!!The Cause?Maternal and Child Health in Africa through World Vision Canada programs.How will the money be used?This money will be allocated to needy communities in a number of African countries – Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, and others - to the cause of improving maternal and child health through the further development of
  • Accessible clinics
  • Community outreach programs
  • Nutrition and hygiene education
  • Assisted birthing
  • Pre and Post-Natal care
  • Awareness education: signs & symptoms of illness, sexual health
  • Availability of Medication
  • Modernization of Healthcare facilities
We thank the students and staff from Drake Medox College from the bottom of our hearts!Cindy & Mia Cook (World Vision Canada Ambassadors)

Matthew’s Practicum Experience

Community Support Worker Program student Matthew Bantog shares his experience as he prepares for his last week in practicum.
Three weeks down, one more to go before I have finished my practicum at the ‘Bridges’ Day Program here in Cloverdale. These past three weeks have gone by fairly quickly, but I have learned so much. Not just from the staff, but the clients as well, and I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent with everyone.20170303_175508From the moment I walked up the building stairs on my first day, several clients greeted me. Even though they had no idea who I was, or what I was doing there, they had welcomed me with open arms…literally. One of them even gave me a tour of the entire upper floor. I was just overwhelmed by their kindness.With each passing day, I learn something new. Staff members are very timely and helpful when explaining how to handle situations after they have just happened. Letting me know not to be afraid to ask a lot of questions, even though I find myself more as an observer. Which I feel has helped me a lot the past few weeks, especially when it comes to remembering everyone’s names. Some that I’ve had the chance to shadow have also offered tips in order to prepare me for my future in the field. Which reminds me…I should start studying for my Class 4 License!Although I have learned a lot from the staff, I have learned even more from the clients themselves. Personally, what makes me happy the most is to see other people happy. As I previously stated, I am an observer, and by observing I am absorbing and feeding off of others. Seeing the clients be motivated to reach their goals in the community motivates me to support them as best as I can. People say that caregiving is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but is also one of the most rewarding. And in these past three weeks of practicum I have experienced firsthand how true that statement is.I’d like to thank everyone at ‘Bridges’ and Drake Medox for everything they’ve done to prepare me for success in my future career as a Community Support Worker.If you are a special person like Matthew, and want to make a positive difference in the lives of other special people in our community, click here to visit Drake Medox College's website to learn more about this rewarding career choice! 

Accent Reduction – A Change of Focus

In the past, there was an objective to have all English-speakers sound “British or American.”  This focus has changed as the recognition of English as the International language of business, academia and travel has grown.Now, it is accepted and celebrated that English has many sounds.  The English heard in the streets of New Delhi, for example, will sound quite different than the English you will hear in other parts of the world.Since Canada is a diverse country made up of people from all over the world, the sounds of Canadian English are as diverse as the population!downloadWhy talk about accent reduction then?  Because we need to be able to understand each other.  This need for clear communication is relevant in all aspects of our daily lives:  at work, at home, in the community.The overall objective is the production of spoken English which leads to CLEAR COMMUNICATION, in other words, understanding is achieved. If you struggle with this, the following approach can help:
  • Join an English conversation club at a local public library to practice producing understandable English conversation (many libraries also offer free English tutoring services)
  • Practice with native English speakers – ask them to correct any errors in your pronunciation
  • Look for a Pronunciation/Accent Reduction class as part of Continuing Education for adults at the Public School Board in your neighbourhood (example: “Accent Reduction: Speaking Clear English” Vancouver School Board, The City of Surrey’s “Free English Conversation Programs)
  • Check “Accent Reduction” resources available from a variety of sources. (examples: L2 Accent Reduction Centre in Vancouver which also offers tutoring via video streaming, the YMCA is a great starting point for language support services)
  • Most importantly, the language learners who progress most rapidly are those who are willing to take risks, therefore try not to be fearful of making mistakes and keep talking – “practice does make perfect!!”
Cindy Cook is Drake Medox College's lead English instructor offering both current and prospective students with the support they need to achieve their career goals.  To learn more about our English programs you can contact Cindy @ 604-629-0196.

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As you probably are aware by now, most of my recent hires are from your college, and I am very happy with the performance and work ethics of your graduates.  They are very responsive, caring and have a solid knowledge by the time they enter the workforce.

Kudos to you and to your organization.

With much respect,

Leo Monterola
Director of Care
Retirement Concepts Guildford Seniors Village

Success Story

Drake Medox College has provided me with the learning experience that I need to start my career as a successful Activity Worker at a long-term senior facility. I have achieved my goal of changing my career from a Care Aide to an Activity Worker, as I was able to find a full-time job one month after I graduated from the Drake Medox College. I would highly recommend the Activity Assistant Diploma program to anyone who work in the health care industry.