The Manitoba government and Red River College are partnering to support resident care in personal care homes during the pandemic by the launch of a COVID-19 health-care support worker micro-credential.
“Ensuring the appropriate care and support is available to residents of Manitoba personal care homes is a top priority as we see the strain that COVID-19 is placing on personal care home workforce,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “We must do everything possible to ensure we have staff is to support the care needs of residents in our long-term care homes. This requires an immediate increase in the available workforce and this new training program addresses this goal.”
Red River College will offer a week-long condensed, high-intensity training program that will train students to work as uncertified health-care aides (UHCAs) and create immediate employment opportunities for Manitobans including students currently enrolled in a health sciences faculty or program.
These workers will support all members of the resident care team, assisting with resident care and support under the general supervision of a manager or nursing supervisor. Duties may include resident observation, companionship, redirection, stocking of supplies and more.
“As part of our continued efforts, we’ve established a Rapid Execution and Deployment Team that will continue to create new and innovative solutions to offer our expertise, facilities, and network of campuses to support all Manitobans in response to COVID-19,” said Fred Meier, president and CEO, RRC. “I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to aide in our provincial response, and I want to commend our staff, faculty and instructors for continuing to step up and support our communities.”
The course will include a combination of virtual and in-class education and consists of five days of theory offered virtually and two days of in-person skills education. Starting Nov. 30, it will be offered to students in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Steinbach, Winkler and Portage la Prairie, with opportunities to offer the course in additional communities in rural and northern Manitoba being explored.
Eligible students must be over the age of 18 and possess a minimum of a Grade 10 education. Experience in direct care is not a pre-requisite, and the course is being offered tuition-free with a commitment to provide service in a personal care home for a period of three months following completion.
Interested individuals must apply to the COVID-19 casual pool and select the location where they prefer to complete the training. To apply for the first intake of students, the deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 23.
The first group of the Health Care Support Worker Micro-credential students are expected to be ready to enter the workforce as early as Dec. 8.
Employment as UHCAs is also available to first- and second-year students in a health sciences faculty and programs, without the requirement for additional education. Students will be hired directly into the COVID-19 casual pool and assigned to a personal care home.
Opportunities exist throughout the province. All successful applicants will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment for the setting in which they will work.
For more information about the micro-credential and to apply, visit sharedhealthmb.ca.