OK College: 10 Students Graduate From The Popular (And Rare) Health Care Assistant Program

Okanagan College hosted a Health Care Assistant Program  for the past 26 weeks that only runs when the demand is there and provincial funding is in place. 10 out of the 12 students that registered for the program completed their course and graduated on Friday, March 16th.

These excited students will now be diving into the workforce with a new horizon infront of them in the home care world. With this 26 week program, they now have opportunities in home care support, assisted living, residential care, private home care with options of working in the hospitals in acute care. While there is a large demand for these types of services for our senior citizens, this program is not always available to partake in.

Okanagan College Associate Dean Lisa Kraft told the Revelstoke Current “This was a provincially founded program that is not part of the regular curriculum. You never know when the program may come up. If we know we can fill the seats, it makes it easier to call and see if more funding if available.”

For those that are considering moving into the health care world, while there is a demand, you have to keep a close eye on the programs Okanagan College offers and when this unique program may arise and be ready to sign up fast as it is popular.

“The job is crucial for seniors. it keeps point of contact for our seniors and the care aids are the key connection to their community and their care.” Kraft stated.

Recent graduate, Tanya Wolgram told the Current how her experience was in the program.

“it wasn’t easy, It was a hard 26 weeks. Very challenging, but there was a lot of growth and personal reflection about your own personal beliefs.”

Wolgram’s class mate, Kaity Walford echoed the same sentiment.

“I didn’t think it would be as hard but it is a great accomplishment, I think my Mom would be really proud.”

Walford is the third in her family to enter into the health care field as her Grandmother was the Assistant Director of Nursing at Nanaimo Regional Hospital until she retired and her Mother, Linda Walford was the Director of Health Records at Queen Victoria Hospital Revelstoke.

When asked what her goal is when she finds her first job in her new career, and she had a goal to save up and purchase the trampoline her young son, Carson has been wishing for.

The program was supported by the Columbia Basin Trust as well as the Revelstoke District Health Foundation, in which Steven Hui, Bill Shuttlesworth and Margaret Zielonka were there to present a final gift to the grads.

The RDHF gave a $1000 grant to each student that entered the program with $750 up front and the $250 was given upon completion of the program. While handing out the promised $250 to each student, Hui shared an anecdote that someone shared with him when he was just starting out in the world of Pharmaceuticals.

“People don’t care about how much you know until they know that you care.”

In closing, Associate Dean Lisa Kraft gave the students dash of wisdom from her own experience, “You can’t always do something about the quantity of life, but you can always improve the quality of life, even on someones dying day-you can improve the quality of life.”

Congratulations to the grads!

Jessica Ploeger, Tammy Hudak, Malia Knapp, Tanya Wolgram, Alison Fieldhouse, Sidanny Bennett, Cole Johnson, Kaitlin Walford, Memory Uglene and Madison Klevorick.