Stories of the Heart

Stories of the Heart

Stories of the Heart

Eight months ago, the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. While it left many out of a job, others needed to give more than they ever had. ‘Stories of the Heart,’ a short film from The BC Centre for Palliative Care, recounts the experience of four Health Care Assistants (HCAs) in British Columbia; stories of patience, perseverance, and empathy. The compilation of real experiences from over 80 HCAs formed what these four actors share. This is a short film that is definitely worth the watch.

Throughout the first few months of the pandemic, we could hear clapping, howling, and the banging of pots and pans at 7 p.m. every night in honour of our front line health-care workers in British Columbia. Still, in ‘Stories of the Heart,’ one HCA expresses he sometimes feels ‘invisible to everyone.’ Then he recalls a time when the community sent a gift basket to the care team where he works and that this reminded him of how the work they do is valued and recognized.

These stories are important because they show us what is happening behind the scenes and help us better understand the challenges HCAs all around our province are facing. Take a minute and think about how it would feel caring for an aging adult who could not receive visitors or even see your smile because it was hidden behind a mask. Or what it would feel like to not be able to hug your toddler when you came home, afraid of infecting them. This work requires creativity, such as organizing a dance party to bring the mood up at lunchtime, compassion, and so much heart.

Although these have been challenging times, one HCA says that she ‘can’t imagine doing anything else,’ stating that this work ‘feeds your soul.’ ‘You get these special moments,’ she says, recounting a time at the end of her work shift where a resident she knew well was dying. She stayed with him until the end, not wanting him to be alone. She felt honoured to have been there for him in that moment.   

‘Stories of the Heart’ will speak to your heart; it will give you hope in humanity. Watch and share it with your family, friends, and colleagues, and remember to show kindness to HCAs who do so much for us and our loved ones daily.

Watch ‘Stories of the Heart’ here:

The BC Centre for Palliative Care has gathered multiple resources, from recorded webinars to links to education, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They aim to help Health Care Assistants with this life-limiting illness. Visit: https://bc-cpc.github.io/covid/ for more information.

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HCA Dual Credit Options

HCA Dual Credit Options

HCA Dual Credit Options

High school students! Did you know you might be eligible to participate in a school-funded HCA dual credit training? You can earn dual credits that count towards your high school diploma and your HCA certificate at the same time! For more info, follow these steps:

  1.  Talk to your school counsellor to learn about HCA Dual Credit program opportunities at your school, and
  2. Check out our Employment page for HCA postings on employers’ job boards to see what kinds of opportunities are waiting for you after graduation

See what some of the HCA dual credit students have to say about the program:

 

Video provided by Interior Health.

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Brittany Hughes Is A Health Care Assistant Making A Difference in Fort St. John

Brittany Hughes Is A Health Care Assistant Making A Difference in Fort St. John

Brittany Hughes Is A Health Care Assistant Making A Difference in Fort St. John

Being a care aide is so much more than what people think and expect. We are the eyes, ears and voices of the elderly. We are their families… in so many ways,” says Brittany Hughes, a Health Care Assistant with the Northern Health Authority (NHA), working and living in Fort St. John. In the video below created by NHA, Brittany shares that she thinks of the residents she cares for as her family. She says fondly, “I have like 20 great grandmas and 20 great grandpas.” To Brittany, her work is like her second home and this is thanks to the great relationship she has with the residents, and the culture at work which she refers to as calm and laidback. “I find that everyone is really considerate of each other and supportive of each other.”

This support doesn’t just end at the workplace. Brittany sees it everywhere she goes in Fort St. John, and even when entering a store, she says you feel welcomed. “The people are so caring and loving towards each other, and I just think that’s beautiful.” The community of Fort St. John is family-oriented and active. Brittany enjoys hiking, and going to the sports centre with her kids who love to play hockey and speed skate. Watch the video for more on why Brittany Hughes is glad to call Fort St. John home.

Photo and video provided by Northern Health.

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BCCPA HCA Training Program

BCCPA HCA Training Program

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA)

HCA Training Program

Program Overview

 

 

 

Click here to learn more about the health care assistant training program.

With funding from the WorkBC Community Workforce Response Grant, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is training three 16-person cohorts of health care assistants in Parksville, Cowichan Valley, and Kamloops, B.C. The training program will be delivered in partnership with Discovery Community College.

BCCPA will cover the entire cost of tuition for participants, as well as provide additional living supports.

Program participants will receive skills training by way of the provincially approved curriculum for HCAs. The program will be delivered over the course of 38 weeks, including 21 weeks for classroom theory and lab skills hours and 12 weeks for practice education. Training will be delivered three days a week for the classroom theory portion of the program, with varying clinical practice schedules. In total, the entire program consists of 780 hours of training.

On-site training will be held in Parksville, Cowichan Valley, and Kamloops for the classroom theory portion of the program on a rotational, small group basis to complement online learning at the following locations:

Kamloops: The Hamlets at Westsyde – 3255 Overlander Drive, Kamloops, BC V2B 0A5
Parksville: Discovery Community College Campus – Unit #201, 160 Corfield St. S. Parksville, BC V9P 2H5
Cowichan Valley: Oyster Harbour Seniors Community – 1127 4th Avenue, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A6

BCCPA has gained strong support for this initiative from nine employers in the region. All participating employers have part-time or full-time positions available in their organizations. Following the completion of the skills training program, BCCPA will host hiring fairs for participating employers and program graduates.

Eligibility Criteria

Participants must:

  • be at least 15 years old at the time of entry into the program;
  • be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or protected persons entitled to work in Canada;
  • meet English Language Competency Requirements;
    – English 10 or equivalent (for applicants whose first language is English)
    – Standardized English language proficiency test score (for applicants whose first language is not English)

The above are the minimum eligibility requirements potential participants must meet before moving forward with the application process. Additional requirements will be provided by Discovery Community College.

 

How to Apply

If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements, please contact your regional Admissions Department at Discovery Community College and mention that you are interested in applying for the HCA Diploma Program via the Community Workforce Response Grant opportunity with BC Care Providers Association.

Discovery Community College Admissions:

Parksville: 250-468-7777
Cowichan Valley: 250-740-0115
Kamloops: 1-877-315-5241

For admissions enquiries, you may also contact the Admissions Advisor at Discovery Community College, Jennyfer Guzman, by email at jennyfer.guzman@jobready.ca.

 

Key Dates

Pre-screening/interviews: Beginning at the end of June 2020.

Skills training dates:

Parksville: July 22nd, 2020 – April 2nd, 2021
Cowichan Valley: August 10th, 2020 – April 23rd, 2021
Kamloops: August 10th, 2020 – April 23rd, 2021

Hiring fairs: Held post-program completion.

 

For Info Session Recording and FAQs, please click here.

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