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Northern students to get more health care education opportunities

College of New Caledonia president Dr. Dennis Johnson

Students in British Columbia’s North will have more opportunities to train for careers in health care or upgrade their skills, thanks to additional funding for post-secondary education and training for health professionals.

The College of New Caledonia received $180,000 for a health-care assistant program at the Quesnel campus. At Coast Mountain College, $312,952 will allow high school students to explore a career in health care while receiving credit toward graduation and students in Kitimat will be able to enrol in a health-care assistant program that is culturally relevant.

“This investment in health education in Quesnel is an incredible opportunity,” said Dennis Johnson, president and CEO of the College of New Caledonia. “During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have come to recognize the critical role of health-care assistants. We’re grateful to help students gain the skills they need to provide high-quality care to help ensure that the vital work of the health-care system can continue.”

Government is funding programs throughout B.C, including training for health care assistants, anesthesia assistants, mental health and community support workers and programs for nurses. The funding also enables advanced training for nurses and clinical refreshers and fast-track training for respiratory therapists who care for critically ill patients.

“We are committed to training, recruiting and hiring a new generation of health-care professionals at all levels, including respiratory therapists and critical care nurses, who are vital members of the health-care team,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Respiratory therapists and nurses working with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have a high-risk role because of their hands-on work treating patients with breathing difficulties and I thank them for all they do.”

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