What is BC Cares?
BC Cares is a program that was designed by the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) in 2007 to recruit care aides into the growing seniors care sector. Initially developed as a pilot with the Fraser Health Authority, BC Cares became a province-wide initiative in 2009-2009.
Registered Care Aide (RCA)
Starting work as a Residential Care Aide (RCA) or Home Support Worker (HSW) is an excellent way to enter the health field because individuals learn basic care skills - which serve as the foundation for a more advanced position in health care - and the period of study is relatively short.
Upon completion of training at an accredited BC college or university college, students become a certified worker and qualified to work in a variety of areas within the continuing care sector and eligible to join the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. To work as a care aide in BC, you must be on the Registry
RCAs and HSWs can expect to start earning a solid salary upon graduation. As of January 2010, hourly rates range from $12 to a maximum of $22 per hour.
Graduates who succeed in this health care field have specific traits, including:
- caring personality
- sensitivity to the needs of others
- strong problem-solving skills
- ability to manage time effectively
- willingness to take responsibility and be self-directed
- basic home management skills
Continuing care means 24 hour care and so, due to the nature of the work, many positions offer part time and casual shifts which allow workers greater freedom and flexibility in their work and day-to-day schedules. RCAs are required to help others with their daily personal care, such as grooming, bathing and eating, as well as assist in a variety of other ways to ensure comfort and wellness.
The potential for career advancement is also greater than ever before. Here are some professions seniors' care aides may wish to pursue later in their career:
- Licensed Practical Nurse
- Registered Nurse
- Registered Psychiatric Nurse
- Occupational Therapist
- Physical Therapist
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
LPNs provide nursing care for patients under the direction of physicians, nurses and other health team members. In other provinces this occupational group may be referred to as licensed nursing assistants, registered nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants or registered practical nurses.
LPNs are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, occupational health units, community nursing services and private homes. Those working in B.C. must have a license. LPNs assist registered nurses and psychiatric nurses in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care.
Although they work under the direction of physicians and nurses, LPNs also make nursing judgments, provide required care for assigned patients and are responsible for their own nursing actions. The salary is defendant on the workers' skills, seniority and collective bargaining agreement.
LPNs in nursing homes provide bedside care. They usually work 36-40 hours/week and help evaluate residents' needs, develop care plans, and supervise nursing aides. Part time and on-call work is not uncommon. For more information on LPNs click here.
NEW: Seniors Care HR Strategy Released
Report Offers Insight into Human Resources Issues in Seniors Care Sector – (click here for news release)