The past year has been full of changes, and many people have had to adapt or learn new skills in order to adapt and find steady employment.
Beginning a new career path is always daunting, but one group in particular has found increased success, even in light of the pandemic. Health care assistants have been more sought after than ever before, and some HCA students from First College are excited to share their success stories.
First College alumni Ryan describes that he came to join the HCA program because he was looking for an in-demand job that he could secure for the long term. Current student Lucas started his program in September 2020. He chose this career after being inspired by the HCAs that were caring for his mother. More details about Lucas' and Ryan’s experiences at First College can be found here.
The HCA program at First College is offered under the Faculty of Health.
“This 32-week program combines theory courses, laboratory skills and clinical experience in a real-world, health-care setting,” faculty co-ordinator Denise Bryson says. “Students will learn to provide a wide variety of holistic care to promote physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being for people with diverse backgrounds. Our graduates now work with organizations such as Interior Health or with private health-care facilities and can earn up to $26.95 per hour.”
Added First College admissions advisor Sydney Stoltz: “We help students overcome a variety of challenges when they’re applying to the program, when they’re in the program and when they graduate. Every student is coming from their own unique situation; therefore, we really just want to make sure that the students know that we’re here for them, and that we want education to be as accessible as possible.
“We know that pursuing post-secondary education is a big commitment, so it’s nice for students to be able to experience the healthcare field through a shorter program before they commit to further education in nursing.”
“Our aging and growing population means health care assistants will remain in high demand,” First College director Timothy Yang says. “We are committed to training more qualified HCAs because we are committed to contributing to our local community.”
First College's most recent HCA cohort started earlier this month on campus with all current COVID-19 guidelines in place. That includes personal protection equipment and daily COVID-19 screenings with temperature checks upon arrival.
First College also offers many other popular programs, such as:
• Community Support Worker
• Registered Massage Therapy
First College's January HCA cohort students with Faculty of Health members.