Alum of the Month: Telma Dos Santos

Telma Dos Santos sitting in a chair in front of a group of seniors who are all playing with a Hua hoop in their hands

September 8, 2023 - 3:00pm

Telma Dos Santos was working as a health care assistant when she first heard about the Activity Assistant certificate at VIU.

The program is designed to provide further training for people who have previous experience as a health care aid or community support worker and want to create programming that promotes wellness and fun for those in their care.

“I heard about this program from a recreation therapist, Lyndsay Webster, when I was working at Nanaimo hospital,” Telma says. “She was one of the instructors in the program and could see the way I worked with the seniors. She encouraged me to take the program.”

We caught up with Telma to find out more about the program, her current role and what’s next.

Can you share some highlights of your time at VIU and in the program?

The whole program is well-organized to guide the student to be an activity assistant from the beginning to the end of the course. The program focuses on patient- centred care. Organizing, planning, delivering and modifying activities to include everyone. I learned important points about therapeutic communication skills, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the five domains such as physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive and social.

Where are you currently working and how did your time at VIU prepare you for this role?

After finishing the program, I applied to jobs with Island Health. Currently, I am working in two different sites as casual activity assistant. The instructors and supervisors were very knowledgeable I was well-supported to enter my new career.

What's next for you?

I have been enjoying working as activity assistant as well as a health care assistant. My next goal is to become a nurse.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in taking this program?

I personally recommend this program for health-care professionals who are passionate about working with seniors. People who like to communicate, enjoy fun or have skills and abilities to share. It’s a great opportunity to get seniors engaged into the programs to promote their well-being and keep them active.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m very grateful for this program. It helped me not only pursue a new career but also to understand the concept of care for an aging group population. It improved my knowledge to become a better health-care professional and offer outstanding care to others.

Learn more about the Activity Assistant certificate program at VIU

Tags: Our Alumni

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email