Funding has been approved to train 44 health care aides at Mountain Lake Seniors Community in Nelson under B.C’s Health Care Access Program.
Site leader Tami Turner says this is a fantastic opportunity for students looking to pursue a career in healthcare.
“The biggest challenge people are faced with is the cost of schooling,” she says. “This is 100 per cent paid through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Advanced Education.
“All aspects of training are paid for while students undergo an accelerated six-to-12 month [program] at Selkirk College.”
She says the only stipulation Mountain Lake asks for is a one year commitment, which will benefit everyone.
“We request people stay one year after the training,” she says. “Staffing is short throughout the Kootenays, so this is an excellent opportunity for people to study and experience our wonderful area.”
She says student retention typically isn’t a problem at Mountain Lake, but with the government lifting restrictions about working at more than one care facility, it could become an issue.
“Five health care students are still with us,” she says. “We do retain students, but now with single site order being dropped, I don’t know if we would keep them.”
According to Turner, a single site order was put in place during COVID to restrict any long-term care worker from working at more than one facility.
Turner says there typically isn’t a mandate for students to stay, but with the incentives the ministry is putting forward, asking for a commitment doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.
“Because the program is completely paid we are asking for the commitment,” she says. “This is helping us, our residents, and of course the students.”
Turner says being a health care aide isn’t easy work, but with the shortage it is a field where people are needed and appreciated.
“Health care aids ensure people in the local community receive the best care,” she says. “Through compassion, kindness, and commitment, people who choose this career are the backbone of the industry.”
According to a news release, three people are currently enrolled in the program, and interested candidates can send their resumes to Turner at Mountain Lake.
Deadline for submission is March 31.