Aurora’s admissions department is staffed by a team with a rich history of helping patients get admitted and settled into what will often be a life-changing stay.
The first conversation callers have with Aurora is with one of the admissions team members. Hand-picked for their ability to bring expertise, compassion, and good boundaries to their work, they’re fortunate to have Cindy Bergen and Candace Vey available for callers.
Both Cindy and Candace are able to have difficult conversations with people and bring their individual gifts to their work. Each of them has extensive experience working with people in distress and are both able to bring hope and guidance to callers.
Cindy has the ability to hold space and facilitate clarity for people as they share their distress with her, all with great compassion. She understands that building rapport is incredibly important for people who are in distress and facing an unknown future.
Candace has the ability to be direct and support callers to face the reality of their situation, all with a positive and encouraging attitude. She knows the importance of moving past denial, in order to take effective action and begin the recovery journey.
Led by Piper Deggan, with over thirty years working in the addiction recovery field, the team stays on point and is well connected to the multidisciplinary team at Aurora. In this way communication is congruent and they’re able to effectively support each other and provide quality care to the patients.
Many of the callers are living in either a chronic state of crisis, or in an acute crisis, and the team ensures they don’t get caught up emotionally while also being empathetic. This balance is a challenging part of the work and they role model recovery behaviours by keeping healthy boundaries and being responsive rather than reactive. It takes a special talent to be able to be present, kind, encouraging and straightforward with people during an incredibly difficult moment in their lives.
Practicing self care is critical for the team as they regularly listen to people’s painful stories and frustrations. They’re committed to being supportive and making time to debrief with each other and to encourage one another. Working collaboratively, practicing self care and focusing on the positive keeps the team healthy. They genuinely enjoy each other and are proud of the work they do.
The team leader Piper has “done it all, seen it all” during her career. From taking patients’ blood pressure, to dispensing medication, from leading group therapy sessions to coordinating continuing care and admissions departments, she has learned the ropes in some of Canada’s top facilities. For the past two years she’s been shaping and mentoring the Aurora admissions department into the welcoming, compassionate, and professional unit it is.
If you’re new to the realm of addiction treatment, she and her team will walk you through it easily, knowledgably, patiently.
“We are the first point of contact,” says Deggan, herself a woman in long-term recovery. “People call us in different levels of crisis. Some people are researching what the details are, how to get in and how much it costs. Other people are completely new to the world of addiction treatment and this is their first-time engaging with treatment professionals, so we do a lot of educating, supporting and coaching them as to how to proceed.”
Admissions To Aurora
The admissions department are the ones who take your information and get a sense of whether the centre can serve your needs. If you look at addiction as a medical issue, and a treatment centre as a hospital, it may help you understand what their role is. There are some basics that must be dealt with when you arrive at any medical facility.
Arriving To The Treatment Centre
With the disease of addiction being complex, and often associated with other mental or physical health issues, coming to a treatment centre is not always as simple as some would like it to be. That is where having the right staff on the phone lines matters.
“We have to be able and willing to make things happen as quickly as possible while following protocols and structure to ensure that the level of care matches the level of need,” says Deggan. “We never want to bring someone in that we can’t properly serve, otherwise we’re setting them up for failure which is the last thing they need.”
Being a medical facility, Aurora has doctors and clinicians who need to know details about the patient before they can get the green light to bring them into the facility.
“That can be difficult for people who call in. Sometimes they think because it’s a private facility that it’s like a hotel. They get upset if they can’t just come because they want to, and they have the money, and they are ready. We explain to them that we are not rejecting them, we need the medical team to review their situation. It would be malpractice for us to say, oh yeah, come on in, if we can’t actually serve you. It’s also our duty to ensure that treatment is a healthy environment for everyone else. Everyone is vetted, assessed before they come in to ensure not only that we can provide the care that they need, but also they won’t have a negative impact on our community.”
Piper says of the calls they receive; the split is about 75/25 families over the patient themselves making the call. Often it is a mother reaching out, trying to get a son or daughter the help they need. It is critical that the admissions staff have the answers and the temperament to handle the calls.
“You need to have compassion, but also really good boundaries. You need to be okay with uncomfortable conversations. We are dealing with people in crisis, so you need to be comfortable with the painful aspects of life.”
“You need to have really good self-care. If a caller feels their loved one’s life is in jeopardy, they can get aggressive on the phone with you. So, you have to have compassion and boundaries when people are blaming or aggressive, pushing.”
“The families are often living in a state of crisis. So, when a family calls us and they are in distress, we need to be able to not get caught up in that emotionally. We have to be kind. We understand. Be as positive as possible, but not become frantic with them. That is a very challenging part of the work. So, we role model recovery on the admissions team by keeping healthy boundaries.’
Finally, before any patient is scheduled to arrive, they too must talk to the admissions team.
“We have a conversation with them. If it is an adult child, often the parent doesn’t know how bad it is, so we need to talk to them privately. That is critical. We also want to establish rapport. It’s scary to go to some place you’ve never been and at your lowest point in your life.”
Aurora is a clean, bright, professional environment with compassionate staff. The first point of contact, the admissions team, is always ready to welcome and settle people into the process of recovery. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect at Aurora. Many of the staff are in sustained recovery and understand the recovery journey.
Aurora Recovery Experts
The team of experts has been hand-picked for their dedication to helping others find their way out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of recovery. The empathetic, welcoming environment offers leading-edge treatment that provides resources, support and guidance for sustained recovery. The patients build therapeutic relationships, grounded in respect, with their dedicated counselor, who is their guide throughout their residential care.
Aurora Recovery Centre is an access-restricted facility with controlled entry and exit points. Privacy is very important and all Aurora employees are legally bound to confidentiality agreements.
The lifestyle and behavioural changes required for sustained recovery need daily practices to support them. Patients are provided with everything they need in order to have recovery for life. Each individual’s level of motivation will determine their outcome.
Much like hypertension, diabetes, coronary issues, or any other chronic condition, after the acute phase of treatment, a specific care plan is created. This recovery management plan includes regular follow-up, accountability practices, exercise, nutrition, and involvement in a mutual-aid support group.
The treatment program Aurora prescribes is evidence-based and aligned with best practices. Aurora staff remain engaged with patients for the long haul, inviting and encouraging participation in ongoing recovery management. They offer continuing care for life as they walk beside each individual well past their stay at Aurora.
Upon completion of treatment, each patient leaves the centre with a comprehensive and personalized continuing-care plan. Aurora’s commitment to ‘recovery for life’ includes lifetime access to our continuing care resources. This may include counselling, group therapy, peer support groups and referrals to specialists.
Aurora Recovery Centre is on 25 acres, set in the serenity of nature, located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg one hour north of Winnipeg in Gimli, Manitoba.
20025 Lakeside Road Gimli, MB R0C 1B0 CANADA
1 204 642 8058
If you would like to have a look, here is a video of their centre!