Earn while you learn

Health care has been relatively slow to fully adopt the apprenticeship model as learners progress through various stages of certification and credentialling. This may be due to a reluctance to offer compensation to students who aren’t yet qualified to work independently. Or perhaps it is due to the degree of supervision and mentoring involved in having students deliver direct care to residents and patients.

Regardless, the trainee/preceptor concept is well established within the medical profession, and there are well documented models and safeguards governing the scope of practice and accountabilities with respect to learners.

CHAA operators are recognizing there are numerous advantages to teaching, mentoring, and supporting our own cohorts of health care aide (HCA) learners — most important of which is the ability to impart values around caring and compassionate care.

Collaboration between employers and labour

When considering a fully on-the-job model for learners — such as the Workplace Tutor Program (WTP) — employers play a critical role in several aspects. Essential elements include:

  • Ensuring high quality instruction, tutoring, mentoring, supervision, and evaluation of learners.

  • Managing and supporting the involvement of labour unions who, like employers, will have interests regarding the segregation of duties and wage differential between fully qualified workers and evolving learners.

CHAA operators have been at the forefront of successful labour relations discussions to guide workplace delivery programs. A key provision is early, open dialogue with workers and union leaders with a goal of ensuring respect, safety, transparency and shared accountability for learners, staff and residents/patients.

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