The 11 students in the health care aid program

New course hopes to address health care aid shortage in Revelstoke

11 students enroll in Okanagan College health care aid program in Revelstoke to help fill need for aids in community.

A little celebration was held at Queen Victoria Hospital last Friday to mark Health Care Assistant Day in B.C. and the start of the new Health Care Aid program in Revelstoke.

The 11 students from all walks of life were at the hospital doing the lab work portion of the program, which will train them to do the work of a health care assistant.

The Revelstoke program was put together through a partnership between Okanagan College, Interior Health and the Revelstoke District Health Foundation.

The idea for having the program was brought up at by the Okanagan College Advisory Committee after it was mentioned that there was a demand for health care assistants in Revelstoke.

“Because we saw a demand locally for getting some qualified assistants, we got together with the college to bring the course to Revelstoke,” said Julie Lowes, the site manager for Queen Victoria Hospital.

The students will be trained for roles such as home support, residential care, assisted living and adult day programs. There is a need for casual health care assistants to replace full-time staff when they are on sick or on vacation, said Lowes. The graduates can apply for permanent positions as they come up.

There are about 50–60 care aids in Revelstoke, said Lowes, including support and casual staff.

“Part of the shift in health care is moving more towards community care to allow people to stay in their homes,” said Lowes.

The Revelstoke District Health Foundation supported the program by granting each student a $1,000 scholarship. $750 was awarded to help with tuition and the remainder will be awarded upon graduation.

“There’s nothing we can do that could help health in Revelstoke more than support this program,” said Margaret Zielonka, with the health foundation.

Jim Barmby, the dean of the Shuswap-Revelstoke region of Okanagan College, thanked the foundation, Interior Health, and the college advisory committee. “We’re absolutely thrilled we could get enough students to bring a full blown program to Revelstoke,” he said.

I spoke to a few students about why they enrolled. Chantelle Cumiskey, 18, a recent Revelstoke Secondary School graduate who works at Cooper’s, said she has wanted to be involved in health care since she was seven. “It’s a good opportunity and rewarding job.”

Jackie James said she was following in her mother’s foot steps. Her mother was a nurse in England but when her family immigrated to Canada, her qualifications weren’t accepted and she became a care aid. “It’s in my nature, it’s inherent,” James said.

For Kayla Dodman, it’s a chance to earn a better living to support her two children. In high school she worked at Moberley Manor and the field still interested her. “I was interested then and it still excites me,” she said. “It is tough but in the end it will be worth it and I can give my children a better life.”

 

Just Posted

Balu Pass closed in Glacier National Park

The National Park is east of Revelstoke on Highway 1

Junior B hockey starts again later this month, how are the Doug Birk teams looking?

The Grizzlies are defending KIJHL and provincial champions and hoping to repeat the wins this year

Highway 1 road construction continues, high 26 today

Revelstoke roads, weather and wildfires update

Motorcyclist involved in Westside Road crash

Air ambulance assists while motorists face lengthy delays

Second cannabis store in the works for Revelstoke

City Council approved a development variance permit for Revelsmoke Aug. 13

Knife-wielding man tries to break into Okanagan retirement home

Seniors and staff shaken by incident and upset with RCMP response

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan dog ‘Alice’ to get surgery thanks to BC SPCA crowdfunding

With the surgery, Alice’s prognosis is ‘excellent,’ stated the BC SPCA

Suspicious item forces 47 to evacuate plane at Kelowna airport

Kelowna RCMP continue investigation of suspicious item on airplane

Kelowna man nearly drowns on Okanagan Lake

The victim is in serious yet stable condition but his condition has worsened since going to hospital

Okanagan youth protest Tolko logging

Small group gathers outside Tolko head office

Hergott: Safe driving behaviours

Lawyer Paul Hergott writes about second nature “every time” behaviours on the road

Most Read