The Islay Health Centre Auxiliary Society was pleased to announce Meghan Dutchak the winner of their annual $1,000 bursary.
Recipients must be enrolled in a post-secondary program in a health-related field, and have grown up in the hospital’s former geographic boundary.
Dutchak is in her second year of studies to become a combined lab and x-ray technician.
Raised in the Clandonald area, she is pleased to be completing her practicum at the Vermilion Health Centre. With her studies being geared toward rural practice, she hopes to stick around the area.
“I imagine the Auxiliary isn’t the largest of organizations, so it is definitely very generous of them,” said Dutchak.
“A practicum is unpaid and I’m still paying tuition, so $1,000 goes a long way. Things got a little interesting with COVID. I was in school longer than expected and didn’t have the opportunity to work through the summer.”
From March to June, she had to navigate her classes online. She also had to complete clinical on campus and finish up testing from the previous year before she could move on to her second-year practicum.
“Being in practicum just over a month, I have learned it is important to be able to do different things,” said Dutchak.
“You only have so many people in a small hospital so being a technician with lab and x-ray experience, for emergencies or on-call you could rely on just one person. Working in a small town, it can also be a comfort and nice to see a friendly face if it is somebody familiar and local to the area.”
She was thankful to community for being so receptive in giving students the opportunity to work with them and let them practice. She said everyone has to start somewhere, and if you enter the room with a smile and are calm and confident, it’s a lot easier for people to trust you.
“Patient care makes a big difference in this line of work,” said Dutchak.
“It’s important to take the time to connect, make eye contact and ensure the patient understands you are there to help them and will do your best.”