COTR program supports a growing need for healthcare workers

Healthcare assistants are in high demand in our community, and the COTR is bringing in a program to train locals to fill that need.

Healthcare assistants are in high demand in our community, and the College of the Rockies is bringing in a program to train locals to fill that need.

“It is the program that will give students their entry level education into the healthcare field,” said Karen Cathcart, Golden Campus Manager for COTR.

The program is a mainstay for the college, and runs in Cranbrook every year. It also rotates through the other campuses, and Golden is fortunate to be getting the program offered locally while the community is short of healthcare professionals.

“Interior Health has been a strong supporter of this program. And they have said we are in dire need in Golden for healthcare assistants. It’s an excellent starting position where you can make anywhere from $20 to $22 an hour,” said Cathcart.

The 32-week program starts on Oct. 6 with 20 weeks of classroom theory, followed by 12 weeks of practicum work in facilities like Durand Manor and Mountainview Assisted Living. The only requirements for entrance into the program are Grade 10 Math and English, and 30 hours of working with the elderly. And although those 30 hours may seem like a lot, Cathcart says they are very easy to acquire, and can include any work with a student’s own family.

“I don’t want people to be deterred from that, and it’s easy to get those 30 hours,” she said.

The tuition also should not be a deterrent says Cathcart. At approximately $2,100, the program could get students into a well-paying career here in town.

“This is a very inexpensive way to get your first credential in the health field,” she said. “If you’re interested in getting into the health field, this is your way to do it.”

Enrolment for the program in Golden this semester is quite low, and the college is struggling to keep it. But given the popularity of it in the past, as well as the need for for workers with this specific education in the community, they are eager to make it work.

“We’re lucky to have this kind of programming in a small town like Golden. We want to keep running these types of programs here, but we need the support of this community. We need people to take these courses,” said Cathcart.

To hear more about the program, or discuss enrolment and student loan options, go into the campus on 9th Street South, or call 250-344-5901.


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