Hailey Stack’s summer was not the one she expected but one that may have changed her course for her studies and future career plans.
The second-year Science student worked at Halifax’s Northwood Manor, which became a central location for COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Nova Scotia.
“I worked at Northwood as a dietary aide, feeding residents, helping to prepare food and the dining area,” she says. “I was at the home over the course of the spring, where pandemic measures were steadily being increased. We were working in full PPE gear.”
Stack, who is from Halifax, worked in the Manor throughout the spring before moving to a different nursing home where she was a support aide.
While she has always looked at a career in health care, Stack says her experiences in the nursing homes help give her a broader perspective for the field.
“I’ve always wanted to go to medical school, and I love working with people. I’ve worked with kids in the past at camps but wanted to get some experience working with seniors as well,” says Stack. “This summer gave me that opportunity, assisting residents with different tasks, some of whom couldn’t see their families for months due to the pandemic.”
Stack is back in Sackville this year, studying Science both online and on campus. She’s also taking the religious studies course, Death and the Afterlife in Asian religions.
“This class is really opening my eyes to other disciplines. I’m learning a lot about things I’ve never thought of before around death and the afterlife and our perceptions around these,” says Stack.
Outside her studies and work, Stack is also a member of the women’s varsity soccer team and a volunteer with Right to Play, MtA Healthcare Outreach, and the Cumberland Regional Healthcare Centre in Amherst, NS.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put some of these activities on hold, Stack says she is glad to be back on campus to see her teammates and professors, even if it’s virtually.
“I had originally been looking at schools in Ontario and Quebec but when I came for a campus visit, I fell in love with the atmosphere. Being able to study science and play at a school that was close to home, but not too close, Mount A’s been a perfect fit for me,” she says.