Health care aide program offered in Wainwright

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October 18, 2017
More students have access to Lakeland College’s health care aide program this year thanks to a new cohort in Wainwright, Alta.
Group photo of students in health care aide cohort in Wainwright.
There are 17 students enrolled in the satellite program in addition to the 29 health care aide students at the Lloydminster campus.

“This is the highest enrolment we’ve had in health care aide,” says Judy Sarsons, dean of the School of Health, Wellness & University Transfer. “It’s worked really well for these cohorts this year. By providing this offering in Wainwright, students don’t have to travel to Lloydminster or even Edmonton. This program reaches out into rural areas that are not as close to post-secondary institutions as some other places are. The Wainwright cohort is an example of Lakeland’s commitment to offering programs in their regional stewardship area of Alberta.”

Following the same flexible delivery model as the Lloydminster campus offering – classes on Friday evenings and weekends – students are able to earn while they learn in this eight-month certificate program. One instructor was hired to teach the Wainwright students, who complete their coursework and labs at the Wainwright Health Centre. These students will also complete two practicums in the Wainwright region.

“These students are very upbeat, positive and committed. They appreciate that they can learn hands-on and gain valuable skills in Wainwright and be placed in practicum spots close to home,” says Sarsons. “Some students are looking at this as a change of career, some are already working in the industry and others are just starting their careers. I think they can learn a lot from each other and share their experiences.”

Lakeland worked with Town of Wainwright Economic Development and Wainwright Adult Learning to offer the health care aide program in Wainwright, which is located in Lakeland’s regional stewardship area.

“For the Wainwright cohort, it’s a really good collaborative situation between their community and Lakeland to make it work for these students,” says Sarsons. “There’s demand for health care aide training on both sides of the equation. Employers want this and the students are seeing it as a career path they can train for in a relatively short period of time. They are hiring in that field, and we do have an aging population.”

Pending sufficient demand for the program, the health care aide program could be offered in Wainwright every two to three years.

“At the onset of this, we weren’t looking for a sustainable program year-to-year. In fact, we’re looking at other programs that could be offered next year,” says Sarsons. “This is about addressing the needs of the community, which Wainwright can tell us. I think this could be the start of lots of interesting possibilities in the future.”

Photos: Lakeland is offering the health care aide program in Wainwright for the 2015-16 academic year. On Sept. 9 students in the Wainwright heath care aide cohort started their studies. They'll follow the same schedule as the Lloydminster campus program and will finish the program on April 13.
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