Open positions for Resident Care Workers (RCWs) are regularly posted on the PEI government website, and employment opportunities are also available in privately-run facilities across PEI.
“Our population is aging, and more beds are being added to long-term care facilities, resulting in a rising demand for RCWs on PEI and elsewhere,” says
Cheryl Jewell, Learning Manager for the Holland College Resident Care Worker program.
RCWs work mostly in public and private long-term care facilities. Other opportunities for RCWs are in mental health, home care, and in hospitals.
Some also work with people with a physical or intellectual disability. “There are lots of positions for female and male RCWs, and we encourage more males to consider this career,” says Cheryl.
“Provincial facilities hire only RCWs who are graduates of a recognized RCW program,” says Cheryl.
The Holland College RCW program
This 10-month certificate program takes 24 applicants every year in Charlottetown. For the last two years, there has been a satellite program in Montague, and every second year, a program is offered at the Alberton Holland College campus.
In the first semester of the program, students take academic courses in foundational theory. In the lab, they do simulations, learning skills such as how to make beds, do personal care, and take vital signs.
In the second semester, they take two academic courses: community home and mental health and health issues in adults. Within their clinical courses, they go to Beach Grove Home or Prince Edward Home and work with a clinical instructor to learn how to care for residents.
When students successfully complete their academic courses and their long-term care experiences, students take clinical courses in acute care (hospitals), community, home, and mental health. They complete the program by working with an experienced RCW for three weeks, gaining experience and putting the skills they have learned into practice.
“Before they graduate, students are interviewed by the PEI Public Service Commission, and if successful are offered casual positions at government-funded facilities. Some students choose to go to a private facility.”
Wages and benefits
“In government facilities, RCWs earn $21.07 to $21.85 per hour. Private facility wages vary depending on the facility and whether the person has formal training such as the RCW certificate from Holland College.”
What does it take to do well in this field?
“People with good communication skills who are physically fit and high energy are ideal. Many of the students who do really well in this program and in the field have had customer service experience.
“My advice to anyone considering becoming an RCW is to volunteer at a facility to get a hands-on look at what an RCW does on a daily basis,” says Cheryl. “With an awareness of what the job entails, they will make a more informed career choice.”
Prospective students are welcome to contact Cheryl Jewell at 902-566-9366 or Jane MacPhee at 902-566-9328. The next intake starts in September, and seats are still available.
For more information about the Holland College Resident Care Worker program, visit www.hollandcollege.com and search RCW program.
Check out the video on the website.