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Health-care assistant training stepped up

September 16, 2015 1:08 P.M.
Health Minister Terry Lake announces health-care assistant training funds at TRU.

The province is funding 32 additional health-care assistant spaces at TRU.

“The $275,000 in targeted funding for Thompson Rivers University is our government responding to the need for more health-care assistants to work with an increasingly aging population in the region,” Health Minister Terry Lake announced Tuesday. “Students can train for rewarding health-care positions that are required in the Thompson, and also support the health-care needs of their communities.”

Health-care assistants provide 24-hour care and supervision in protective and supportive environments for people who have complex care needs. They work in a variety of settings including acute care and residential care, as well as in home care and community care, including independent living and assisted living.

One-time funding for short-duration health-education programs helps address the immediate needs of specific communities so that the supply of trained health-care workers is aligned with demand.

Public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia are helping address the needs of the health system by ensuring that students in the health-care professions have the skills and training they need to serve their communities well.

“One of our top priorities is increasing student success and serving our community,” said TRU president Alan Shaver. “Our students need short-duration training that’s affordable, close to home and that will help them serve the needs of their community. This program and its funding is an example of how TRU and the government are listening. In a few short months, this group will be working and knowing everyday they are making a difference in someone’s life.”

The one-time funding, which is targeted at programs running for one year or less, was awarded after TRU answered a call for proposals from public post-secondary institutions. It is in addition to any regular-funded health-education spaces at the university.

“I’m pleased the government continues to recognize our students as key components in the delivery of health care in the region and British Columbia,” said Donna Murnaghan, dean for the school of nursing at TRU. “Our HCA graduates are respected and sought after for their knowledge, skills and caring nature, which is backed by the high-calibre instruction received in the classroom, in their labs and during their practicums.”

The demand for health-care assistants is ever-increasing with the aging of the population and the continual growth of health-care services. Over 50,000 health-care assistants are registered with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

Dr C Ferris says:
September 19, 2015 06:57am

Hooray! The provincial government has been listening to doctors' recommendations to increase training and positions for allied health care professionals who can function as part of a health-care team which includes physicians. Although this is a one-time funding, hopefully this project will open the door to increased training of health professionals who are not doctors, nurses or nurse practitioners but can support and enhance the work we do.


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