William Wong- Rehabilitation Assistant


William Wong, Rehabilitation Assistant

Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation

Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, Class of 2003


Career – Quick Facts

Career Path:
Annual (Gross) Salary:
Canadian Schools:
Common Job Fields:

Social Interaction
Problem Solving
Physical Requirement

1. What year did you graduate secondary school?
– 2003

2. What is your current job title?
– Rehabilitation Assistant

3. Where and for whom do you currently work for now?
– Coquitlam- Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation

4. What inspired you to pursue your career?
– Through my own personal experiences after suffering a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
I was very fortunate to have had this particular team of professionals help me through my rehabilitation. Without their positive enthusiasm and their dedicated hard work, i would not have been where i am today. They inspired me to pursue a career in health care, guiding me along the way. Mentoring me. Allowing me hope to grasp my potentials.

5. What do you love about your career?
– I get to help people everyday recover from their own injuries whether they’re children, adults, seniors or athletes etc.
It’s a very fulfilling and gratifying career in helping people regain their independence so that they can be one step closer to positively increase their own sense of self worth

6. Any negatives about your job to share?
– Sometimes it may feel depressing working with people who have suffered severe injuries, as i would tend to take on that “disability” myself while treating them. Its definitely not the type of job where the people i help are often happy and full of optimism and excitement when they come see me. So it does take a toll on me that way. But i remember to tell myself that no matter what i do with them in a session, or how minute their improvements may be, I’m making a positive impact on their quality of life.

7. What characteristics are ideal for someone pursuing your career?
– You definitely need to be a people- person. Able to provide hope and inspiration while the people you treat are going through a “dark” period in their life.
-Being a life long learner because technologies and treatment methods are constantly evolving.
– Being liable for your own work and not take criticism negatively.
– Being truthful to yourself and to the patient/client by helping them to the best of your ability.
– Again, being a life long learner is a very important aspect in this career. You cant just go to post secondary school for 4 or 6 years and end it there. There’s a lot out there to be learned in the rehab field. Post secondary and graduate school is only the tip of the iceburg.
-Aside from all the serious aspects to be successful in this career, you have to be able to talk, joke and laugh with your patients/clients as rapport building is one of the most important aspect that often doesn’t get taught.

8. What is the most rewarding part of your career?
– Going home at the end of the day knowing that I’ve helped someone become stronger or better at something than they were yesterday.

9. What courses would you recommend to take during highschool to help in your career path?
– All of them because you really want to be a well rounded person. Career paths may change, so you really cant limit yourself.

10.Describe your academic and non-academic path to your profession (the more detail the better!)
– To be totally honest, I’ve never liked school growing up. I dreaded the academic sides of it. Barely passing courses. Barely graduating high school. I just wanted to go to school to hangout with my friends. I also never had a mentor throughout high school. I thought i was just going to “figure things out” when i graduated.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, I was involved in a car accident shortly after high school. Luckily it spared me my life, however, i am left with a traumatic brain injury. It actually really straightened me out and allow me to see life in a whole new perspective. This car accident set me back years in my life. My friends were all graduating from post secondary school. They’re all starting their careers. And i felt like i was left behind. While my closest high school friends were all reaching life milestones, I was going through rehabilitation. Physical and cognitive. It almost felt like i had to relearn how to be a person again.
While going through my rehab i was really fortunate to have had a real genuine Occupational Therapist work with me. He’s the one who inspired me into this field of work. He’s the mentor that I’ve never had. He gave me hope and possibilities. He’s the one that I look up to, and hopefully become one day. And through this OT, he had set me up to work with a Rehabilitation Assistant who just loved her job and was very dedicated at doing it. Overtime working with her and seeing how she interacted with me, I told my OT that I wanted to be an RA, and hopefully continue on to become an OT, just like you.
From here, he introduced me to the RA diploma program at Capilano University.

Sounding good so far, right? Nope. Because I had lacked the grades and courses in high school, I had to do some upgrading, which again set me back a little bit.
But after all the upgrading i had to do, I was finally able to apply into the program.
I remember having to write an entrance letter to get in- stating why I would be a good fit in this program. Writing this letter was difficult as I related it back to my car accident. I was crying while writing this letter. It made me think of all the negative things that have happened to me. How i now have a “disability”. And how all my high school friends were done their post secondary education by this time. But i knew at that moment, that this is where my life is going to turn around.

Feeling “behind” as well as spending years going through my own physical and cognitive rehab allowed me complete this diploma. I was able to push myself and apply my own rehab into what I was learning in school. It all made sense to me, and I knew why certain stages of rehab was so important, and why these therapists did what they did with me. Because of my personal insight into rehab, it really helped me in school. I was, for the first time in my life, interested in learning something academically. I was asking good questions in class. I wanted to learn more about what we were taught in class. I looked forward in going to school everyday. I worked hard and really applied myself into learning. Hard work from really applying myself into my studies allowed me to make the Dean’s List every semester on top of getting every bursary that i had applied for.

Getting this diploma was probably one of the best thing that has happened in my life. It has allowed me to become the best possible version of myself.
Once graduated, i landed my first job with Fraser Health where I worked at for a number of years. But something in me wanted more. I wanted to be like my OT. I wanted to have the education that he had in hopes of being the director of my own multi clinics across BC.

So, what happened next? I left my awesome full time job with Fraser Health, working alongside really knowledgeable colleagues, to pursue my dream career. I went back to school recently to complete my Bachelor’s degree through University of Calgary- Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (distance education) in hopes to get into a Masters of Occupational Therapy program.

Here i am now- studying though distance education and working part time at a private neurological clinic in Coquitlam doing what i really love.

What I’ve learned from my journey was that, no, i did not go through the same “traditional” process that my friends did. However, if i did, I wouldn’t have gone on to creating my own individualized journey and everything I’ve learned from it.
I try to tell myself that I’m not “behind”, and that I’ll one day get to where I want to be through my own hard work and dedication.
Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be “rich” some day. But today I tell myself that being “rich” doesn’t necessarily mean financially rich in the traditional sense, but rather rich in knowledge and education towards a career and a field that i love to be in everyday.

I really hope I’ve inspired you to go into the medical/rehabilitation field as it’s truly a rewarding field of work with endless possibilities in what you can do.
The story that I told is 100% true. It’s to show that despite what life may throw at you, you have to take it all in as a learning curve with a bit of optimism and apply all of that towards a career that you’re passionate about. It’ll make you better/stronger at what you decide to do. Everyone finds their own ways, just dont give up.

11. What do you like to do for fun?
– Anything. I’m pretty easy going and try to make the most out of what I’m doing.

12. Favourite hockey team or proudest Canadian thing?
– Vancouver Canucks!

13. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger highschool self?
– Dont take time for granted. Make the most of it. Keep learning and ask lots of questions. Connect with people who are outside your circle of friends, people who you want to become.

14. If you are okay to be contacted by students, what contact would you be okay to leave to communicate with you? (ie. email, work number, etc.)
– Email- Willnwong@hotmail.com

May I contact you with questions?
-Sure! Shoot an e-mail to mentorsoftupper@gmail.com with the subject line “Contact: (full name)” and your question.
(Responses may take some time.)
-Sorry, not at this time.

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