Health Care Assistants (HCA) play an essential role in BC’s health care system; they make a significant difference in the everyday lives of seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable clients. In order to increase HCA education enrolment, create opportunities for those with existing HCA competencies in becoming registered HCAs, and ensure that BC residents have access to all forms of care they need, Health Match BC collaborated with The Ministry of Health, the BC health authorities, and other provincial partners to launch the Choose2Care program. Since October 2019, Choose2Care has provided potential HCAs with the information necessary to train, register, and become employed as an HCA.
Choose2Care celebrated its 1st-anniversary last month and reflected on its mission and accomplishments in the previous year. We used our social media accounts to share relevant information, attended and hosted webinars, conferences, and events. We also kept our website updated with helpful resources, created a blog with pertinent content, and launched the HCA Career Pathway and Bursary Program, which provides future HCAs with financial support and guidance to navigate the HCA NCAS assessment and registration processes.
Andreanne Gariepy, HCA Career Consultant, says, “one of the things we’re most proud of is the HCA Career Pathway and Bursary Program launch and expansion,” and our participants agree! One participant praised the program’s helpfulness saying that whether you are an international graduate, struggling financially, or aiming to learn more, it supports you. Another wrote that this program helps “to ease the burden financially” and “alleviate the anxiety in pursuing [a] chosen career path.” Andreanne adds that the program began with one bursary, the Remedial Education Bursary for NCAS-assessed applicants, but in the last year, was expanded to include four bursaries to better support applicants through the entire HCA registration process. “It’s been such a pleasure to speak with and support hundreds of HCAs. It makes me feel the direct impact this program has. We wouldn’t be here today without our dedicated team,” she says. Choose2Care attributes its success to its excellent partnerships with the BC Care Aide Registry, government employers, educators, industry associations, and those leading and collaborating with them every day.
Choose2Care is celebrating its first year and looking ahead to the many possibilities that the future holds – from engaging more people, identifying new collaborative opportunities, and finding new innovative ways to promote the HCA profession to communities. They are on the watch and on the rise.