Choosing a career is a difficult task! At Vision, we want you to know about all of your options. In this section, we will explore careers in health and social services. As well as providing you with information, we will periodically feature a testimonial by a professional in a specific field explaining why they chose a career in health and social services!
Our second testimonial comes from Tara Simpson, an audiologist who always wanted to return home to her family. Tara’s story also talks about how difficult it can be to choose a field of study, even when you have an idea of what you want to do with your life. This is where Vision can help you, by introducing different career paths!
Our first testimonial came from Tracey Jones, a physiotherapist who returned to Gaspé to practice after being certified. Tracey’s journey is a wonderful testament to how easy it can be to return home if that is something that is important to you.
Tara Simpson – Audiologist
I am one of those lucky people who get to say “I’m from Gaspé.” However, it did not make it any easier for me to discover what career I wanted to pursue. Growing up in town, I went to English elementary school, high school, and then made the obvious transition and obtained a DEC from the CEGEP in Natural Sciences. At this point in my life, if someone asked me, “what would you like to do when you ‘grow up’?”, my answer was simply, “not sure, but I know I like science and that I want to help people.”
Based on those two ideas, I continued on and completed a Double Major in Biology and Neuropsychology from Bishop’s University. Even after three years of University, I had no clear picture of what it was that I wanted to do exactly, only that the healthcare field was very appealing to me. Two years later (one that I spent in Québec City at l’Université de Laval improving my French skills and the second working for a pharmaceutical company in Montréal), it finally hit me: I wanted to be an Audiologist! It was a way I could use science, help people, but also relate to them. As a child, I had experienced symptoms like hearing loss, ear pain, and tinnitus because of a history of repeated ear infections.
After a two year intensive French Master’s program at Ottawa University, I was finally an Audiologist, and I’m still thrilled about it today!
In audiology, there is a merge of “technical practice,” using different equipment to preform evaluations, and “practical practice,” where you analyse results. Based on the results and knowledge of the hearing system, it is our role to infer how these results can impact the hearing capacities of a given patient. I thoroughly enjoy working with patients of all ages and I’m lucky to be able to – although, I have to admit I see more adults then children. After discussing their case history and completing an evaluation, together we get to look at concrete results and focus on solutions to improve their specific hearing needs. It is very rewarding to see people staying connected or becoming reconnected and functional, by simply improving their hearing situation.
There has never been a doubt in my mind that Gaspé is right place for me to work and live. After having lived 7 years away from home (and dreaming of coming back soon after I left), I know how important it is for me to be close to my family members and friends who live there too. I am also getting to see what a joy it is to raise my young family near these very same people. Not to mention the other perks, one of them being traffic free mornings! This makes for a stress free and short commute each day. Weekends are almost always filled with a trip out snowshoeing and/or skiing in the winter and bicycle rides and beach time in the summer. With the great outdoors as your playground there are almost no limits!
Tracey Jones, PHT
I was born and raised in the small town of Gaspé. I completed a degree in health sciences at the English section of the local college (Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles). I had known for many years that I wanted to pursue studies in the healthcare field, but was not sure in what sector. After much reflection, and many hours of volunteer work in different areas, I decided on physical therapy. In the fall of 1991, I moved to Montréal and completed a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at McGill University. I graduated in the spring of 1994 and moved to Québec City to complete my internship. I then moved back to Gaspé with my husband in 1995.
I grew up in an Anglophone home and completed all my studies in English. When I made the decision to move back to the coast, I was concerned that my French language skills would not be up to par. I did struggle to a certain extent at first but with time (and a lot of patience) I slowly improved and I can now say that I am comfortable working in French.
Physical therapy is a very rewarding career. Through the study of movement, physiotherapists work to enhance and maintain physical function in individuals of all ages. What I like most about my job is helping people attain their goals and be able to participate in the activities they enjoy. Over the years I have worked in a variety of fields. Recently, I have developed a passion for pediatrics. Every day I work with amazing children and their families.
Looking back, the decision I made to move home to the Gaspé Coast was the right one. I have raised my family close to nature and I am privileged to have many family members and childhood friends close by. My daughters have close ties to both the English and the French community. My two minute commute to work along the stunning York River, picnic dinners on Haldimand Beach, and weekend camping trips in Forillon National Park are just a few of the perks.
My past, my family, my roots, and my future all belong to the Gaspé Coast.