by Heidi Riley
Phalonne Makouteu moved to PEI from Cameroon in Africa two years ago. In her homeland, she had worked for two years as a nurse.
“I love taking care of people, and I have a passion to make people happy,” says Phalonne.
On PEI, she decided to pursue a career as a Resident Care Worker (RCW). “I chose to study at Collège de l’Île because it is a French school, and French is my first language.
“I really enjoyed every moment at Collège de l’Île. I learned what to do in situations where residents could be in pain or agitated. The school will teach you when residents need you to talk or walk with them, listen, or do an activity with them to calm them down.”
She graduated from the RCW program in December 2021 and is now working at Beach Grove Home in Charlottetown. She works full-time hours and has a permanent bilingual position. “It was easy for me to find a job, because of the need for bilingual staff. In the future, I hope to become a Registered Nurse on PEI.
“I love seeing the residents get excited when I walk into their room and talk with them. When I make people happy, I make myself happy too. When you do this job, it is in your heart.”
Matt Perry worked for many years in the restaurant industry and then on construction installation projects before making a career change.
“I decided to become a Resident Care Worker (RCW) because I always wanted to be in a career that helps people.”
Last September, Matt enrolled in the RCW program at Marguerite Connolly Training & Consulting in Charlottetown.
After talking with Director of Training Katherine McQuaid and RCWs who had taken that program, he decided it was the best choice for him. “It has smaller class sizes, more one-on-one time with the instructors, and everyone I know who took the program is now working as an RCW, enjoys the job, and has great things to say about the school,” says Matt.
Matt graduated from the RCW program on June 1, 2022. Before he graduated, he was offered casual employment at Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown. “Within a month, I was offered a temporary 60 percent position, and I am working more than full-time hours.”
Matt is happy to be in a permanent position just four months after graduating. “RCWs in all areas of healthcare are in demand, including long-term care homes, hospitals, and mental health and addictions facilities.”
Duties on the job
RCWs help residents with the activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, dressing, bathing, transferring to wheelchairs, mealtimes, and leisure activities.
RCWs working with Health PEI start at $23.82 per hour. Casuals, because they do not receive benefits, earn 12 percent more than that. Other private employers have their own pay scales.
Financial help with tuition
Through the Resident Care Worker Support program, SkillsPEI will pay 100 percent of tuition costs for individuals taking a Resident Care Worker program in the 2022/2023 school year.
For more information, call SkillsPEI at 1-877-491-4766 or visit a SkillsPEI office.
Visit www.princeedwardisland.ca and search Resident Care Worker Support Program.
The Retention Incentive Program, announced October 17, will provide financial incentives to help stabilize the healthcare workforce and retain nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, paramedics, and resident care workers in exchange for a one-year return in service agreement.
One of the Retention Incentives will include $2,500 for resident care workers, home support workers and patient care workers.
A Retirement Retention Program will also be launched providing a $5,000 incentive program to retain those who are eligible to retire in exchange for a one-year return in service in key roles within the health system.
In addition, a Priority Vacancy Program will also be implemented providing a further $3,000 financial incentive aimed at filling key vacant positions throughout the system.
It is anticipated that 190 positions within the system will be eligible for the priority vacancy incentive program. For more information, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca and search Retention Incentive Program.
For the full interviews, visit www.employmentjourney.com and search the article title.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
on RCW programs across the Island:
Marguerite Connolly Training and Consulting is a 36-week program offered in Charlottetown and Summerside. For more information, call Katherine McQuaid at 902-566-9705 or email [email protected]
Holland College offers a one-year program at the West Prince Campus and the Prince of Wales campus in Charlottetown. Visit www.hollandcollege.com/programs/resident-care-worker-prince-of-wales-campus.php
Collège de l’Île offers a one-year program (taught in French) in Charlottetown and Wellington For more information, call 1-877-854-3010 or email [email protected]