The B.C. government will provide $275,000 in one-time funding to TRU’s health care assistant certificate program. The announcement was made by Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and Minister of Health Terry Lake on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The funding will provide the program with 32 new openings for students and will also be issued alongside any regularly-funded health education spaces at TRU.
“[This] is our government responding to the need for more health care assistants to work with an increasingly aging population in the region,” Lake said.
TRU was B.C.’s only university to be awarded this one-time funding, which targeted programs up to one year in length. This came after the province’s call for proposals from public post-secondary institutions, when the Ministry of Health cited the need for more professional care aides.
TRU president Alan Shaver was in attendance at Lake’s announcement for the funding.
“One of our top priorities is increasing student success and serving our community. Our students need short-duration training that is affordable, close to home and that will help them serve the needs of their community,” Shaver said.
Donna Murnaghan, dean for the school of nursing, said she was happy that the province continues to recognize the health care assistants as key components in B.C.’s health care system.
Health care assistants are used in a variety of settings, from acute care and residential care, to independent and assisted living care. TRU’s health care assistant program takes 27 weeks to complete and strictly adheres to the B.C. health care assistant curriculum. As such, graduates of TRU’s care aide program are highly respected throughout the province. Courses are offered throughout the fall and winter semesters, at both the Williams Lake and Kamloops campuses, and through Open Learning as well. Focussing on assisting older adults in meeting their basic physical, emotional, environmental and social needs, health care assistants use a person-centred approach to help maintain their clients’ maximum level of care and independence.
Although there are already some 50,000 health care assistants registered with B.C. Care Aide and the Community Health Care Registry, many communities throughout B.C. still require more health care assistants.