Red Deer College (RDC) now has a Health Care Aid Certificate program available out of the Ponoka Learning Centre. The program is designed to prepare students to be part of a health-care team in a variety of settings.
Theory will be learned and developed through virtual learning, and then students will go to the Ponoka Learning Centre to practice what they learned online.
At the Centre there is a health care lab that is outfitted with hospital beds and newly installed curtains as well as a diagnostic wall system. The new additions are a donation from the Ponoka & District Health Foundation. The Centre also provides supports that are available to all RDC students as well as internet and laptops.
In addition to the Ponoka Learning Centre the program is offered in RDC and at other learning centres in Central Alberta and Rocky Mountain House, Drumheller, and Stettler.
The program has three practicums to give students real world experience in the health care field. Theses practicums will take place within and around Ponoka and Rimbey.
Coordinator of the Ponoka Learning Centre, Morena Stamm, says, “In the past students have even received job offers while working in their practicums.”
The full-time program runs from Oct.26, 2020 to April 20, 2021, with the expectation for students to attend labs and practicums in person. The rest of the program, however, can be done online at any time.
“We have a huge demand for health care aide workers in the Ponoka and Rimbey communities,” says Stamm. “Learning is hard, we don’t need to make it harder on our community members to get an education. By bringing these kinds of opportunities into the community, we create a stronger community.”
Stamm emphasizes that there are many options for careers coming out of the program as the field for Health Care Aides is very broad—from working in long-term care, home care, or even supporting intensive care with LPNs and RNs.
The Ponoka Learning Centre will also be hosting the LPN program from RDC in 2021.