Health Care students from the College of the Rockies (COTR) in Invermere recently held a barbecue at Columbia House as a way to break the ice with staff and residents at the facility. The students are beginning 10 weeks of practical experience as part of the program offered at COTR.
Campus manager of COTR Invermere, Doug Clovechok, explained, “The point of this exercise is for our health care students who have been in studies since January to put what they have learned into practice. They will be coming over to Columbia House for part of their practicum piece. They will be working in the hospital and Columbia House with patients.”
Maxine Jones was the instructor for the students during their time at the college. “The students need to come and get the practical experience. They really need to come out and work with the residents to apply that theory to practice. It is a whole new learning experience for them. The reality of the work sets in for them,” Jones said.
Getting out and using what they have learned is a cause for excitement, according to student Jeni Higgins. “I am hoping to learn everything I need to know while getting some practice and getting to know the residents and staff. I love it so I want to have fun while working. Taking part in the program has been awesome. Maxine is the best teacher I have ever had,” Higgins said.
Clovechok stressed the importance for the college to continue to look at opportunities to fill the needs of the community. “The demand for health care assistant workers is very high and each and every one of these students has a good chance of being employed locally on graduation,” he said.
Higgins has taken advantage of this opportunity and already has a job lined up once she has completed the course. This was not something she felt was going to happen so soon but she could not be happier. She also gave a great deal of credit to the staff at the COTR who have helped her take what she knows and turn it into a job. “It is overwhelming and was not something I expected. The staff and students at the COTR are a tight family who work hard at helping students reach their own personal goals,” she said.