Previously published in the Wynyard Advance
Saskatoon Business College and Saskatoon Health Region are in the second year of a partnership providing rural students an opportunity to obtain a Personal Care Aide diploma through an Earn While You Learn program.
Rural students participating in the Earn While You Learn program include: Front row (from left): Michael Sotero (Strasbourg), Darlene Johnston (Strasbourg). Back row: Michael Jordan (SBC Instructor), Laurie Whittaker (Watson), Melisa Mathurin (Watrous), Anabelle Lillo (Lanigan), Pam Roberts (Watrous), Karlee Karakochuk (Wynyard), and Debra Tuscher (Nokomis).
Saskatoon Business College has a long-standing relationship in the urban area of Saskatoon Health Region with a reputation for providing well-trained, high-quality Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) to the Region.
Students are choosing the Earn While You Learn program in the rural area for the following reasons:
- There are smaller classes.
- They can earn a wage while going to school.
- They don't have to relocate to an urban area.
- It is suitable for the visual, auditory or tactile learner.
The program has two phases. The first 15 weeks of the program include theory, classes, labs, Saskatoon Health Region certifications, and unpaid practicums in both Home Care and Long Term Care.
Classes are held in Lanigan, and practicums are held throughout rural Saskatoon Health Region, including Golden Acres long term care home in Wynyard, and Home Care East Wynyard.
The unpaid practicums have a dual purpose: Does the student feel they are suited to this career choice and do they prefer Home Care or LongTerm Care? Do the instructors feel the student is ready to provide care for clients in a safe compassionate manner?
If the student successfully completes Phase 1, he or she is hired by Saskatoon Health Region and starts working on a casual basis while continuing to attend classes part-time.
Students continue to be assessed, monitored and evaluated during their paid practicum Phase 2 lasts 24 weeks
Did you know…
- As of April 2016 there were 659 CCAs employed in the rural area of Saskatoon Health Region? And 120 of those staff can potentially retire in the next five years.
- A total of 42 per cent of the CCA workforce is over 50 years old; the average age of a rural CCA is 44
The second class of the rural Earn While You Learn program graduated at the end of June.