PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH CARE ACCESS PROGRAM (HCAP)
Pictured above, left - right: Jennifer Reyes, Laurel Dawn Ettinger and Laurel’s Papa, Donald Secord Lott.
COVID-19 highlighted the need for staffing support in long-term care and assisted living sites across the province. To increase the supply of Health Care Assistants across the province, the Government of British Columbia partnered with regional health authorities to launch the Health Career Access Program – a work-integrated education and training program for Health Care Support Workers (HCSW) on their path to becoming a Health Care Assistant.
The HCSW is a newly created role that provides much needed non-clinical, non-direct care support for residents. PHC LTC homes are excited to be a part of this program. By offering this standardized training, we can continue providing the best quality of care to our residents. Since the launch of this program, PHC has hired a total of 87 HCAP employees across our five LTC homes and one Assisted Living residence.
Below, we caught up with two of our HCAP employees to learn more about what they enjoy most about their roles. Have a read!
PEOPLE PROFILE: Jennifer Reyes
Hello, my name is Jennifer Reyes and I work out of St. Vincent Langara Hospital. I started my journey at PHC on April 6, 2021.
I’ve always been interested in pursuing a career as a Resident Care Aid (RCA) - working in hospital settings where our senior citizens and vulnerable patients need support.
When I arrived in Canada, my long-term goal was to become an RCA. As a single mother life got in the way – I prioritized supporting my family and quickly forgot about my goal of becoming an RCA.
In November 2020, a friend of mine mentioned to me about her close friend getting into the RCA Program funded by the government.
My long-term goal was now realistic. I applied and didn’t get any reply for a few months - I was heartbroken. I almost gave up. Flash forward five months, I received an email to pick a site, I chose Langara Hospital. I told myself that it was meant to be.
While working and having an experience at Langara Hospital, I met some very kind RCA staff. You can feel and see how much they care about the residents. This experience has validated my feelings – it is exactly where I want to be.
PEOPLE PROFILE: Laurel Dawn Ettinger
My name is Laurel Dawn Ettinger and I started the HCAP Program not as a student fresh out of high school, but as a woman in my 40s.
When Premier Horgan announced the program on September 15, I applied right away and began the program in March 2021. I had lost most of my graphic design business right at the beginning of COVID in March 2020.
I chose to apply to HCAP because I needed the work. My mom is a retired pediatric GI-nurse - medical language was always spoken at home. Fun fact, she did fall flu-shot clinics in our kitchen!
I am the single mum of two kids, so being out of work was not an option! I felt useless looking for work – it was a very depleting and stressful time for both me and my family.
When I had the interview with Providence, they asked me what location I’d be interested in working at. I researched online and noticed that Brock Fahrni serves war veterans, so I asked if I could go there.
To the right, a photo of my Papa. His name was Donald Secord Lott (1913 – 1997). This photo is of him showing off at Point Roberts! He served in the 15th Field Artillery Regiment (Canada). He taught me how to drive a car when I was eight years old. I feel like serving at Brock Fahrni is serving him and our memories together.
It is amazing that I am getting paid to study and work. I’m very grateful for the HCAP program.