The Executive Director for the Bethesda Foundation says it is important that we recognize the hard work of health professionals that are often overlooked. 

Linda Peters says May 12th to May 18th is Allied Health Professionals Week in Manitoba. 

“Allied Health Professionals would include our medical lab technicians and assistants, medical radiation techs, sonographers, X-ray technicians, occupational therapists, paramedics, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, that kind of thing.” 

She adds these professions often don’t get the attention and recognition that nurses and doctors do but they are deserving.

“They are an integral part of our healthcare system and so this year we really wanted to do a shout-out to these folks during Allied Health Professionals Week to say 'thank you, we appreciate you and the work that you do.” 

Peters encourages patients and friends of Allied Health Professionals to spread the love and appreciation. 

“Certainly, anytime you're going in for an appointment, for an X-ray or screening or whatever, thank these people for the job they do, and that extends to everybody who works in the hospital. The reception at the front desk doesn't get appreciation in the same way as doctors and nurses necessarily do either, so I think it's just important to thank the people that are helping us whether it is in healthcare or something else.” 

The last few years have been tough on medical health professionals. From her perspective, Peters outlines the atmosphere within the Bethesda Regional Health Centre these days. 

“It's tough. As everybody knows, staffing has been a problem throughout all of Canada for medical staff and so they are often working understaffed and that means pressure all day long. It still is definitely not where we'd like it to be, but things have certainly improved since COVID and all of the stresses that that brought along with it.” 

Even without staffing challenges, Peters says being in the medical profession can be tough. 

“As I was having conversations with these folks, one of them said sometimes the challenges are also actually highlights. She said it's a huge highlight to hear patient's stories, to provide a listening year for people going through a hard time, but it's also a challenge to hear patient's stories to hear the struggle that they're going through.” 

Peters says the Bethesda Foundation tries to be an uplifting force in the lives of hospital employees.  

“A couple of times a year, we do a staff appreciation lunch where we bring in lunch so that people have time to just sort of come and have a hot lunch and visit with some of their colleagues and we try to interact with them a little bit there. We do those kinds of things, we offer funds for upgrading some of their training if they would like, those kinds of things.” 

It’s not necessarily a whole lot, but Peters says "it's a little bit that we can do to try and lift their spirits.”