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Montreal orderlies ready to get back to work after official accreditation

Click to play video: 'Lester B. Pearson program helping fill the void for Quebec orderlies'
Lester B. Pearson program helping fill the void for Quebec orderlies
WATCH: It's no secret that Quebec's health care system is in dire need of staff. That was made even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in long-term care homes. The Lester B Pearson school board is helping fill the void, accrediting newly trained orderlies. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports. – Apr 13, 2023

Dennis Williams has a passion for helping people.

He’s been working as an orderly for years at a private residence in Montreal.

But a few months ago, he decided to come to the West Island Career Centre in Pierrefonds and enroll in the Institutional and Home Care Assistance program to become officially accredited as an orderly.

This week, Williams and two others officially graduated from the program.

To date, the Lester B Pearson School Board (LBPSB) has helped over 550 healthcare workers complete their certification. It’s part of the school board’s Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) process, which offers candidates the possibility of getting their certificate by being evaluated on specific competencies at their own pace.

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“In Quebec, we have a lot of people who are fully competent but not recognized. And not being recognized, they’re not allowed to do the work,” said Mark Newton, LBPSB’s career development services coordinator. “The government has recognized this — RAC — as the best path, because it already exists, it already has the mechanisms, and systems in place to allow these people to be legally qualified to do health-care work.”

The program is geared toward people who have prior knowledge and competency in the field. Once enrolled, learning is a combination of theory and practical, lab work.

The centre has interactive classrooms that simulate a true work environment.

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One of the best parts for students is that it can be done at their own pace, according to their schedule.

“I like the flexibility,” said Bolanle Akintatyo, an orderly who graduated from the program two weeks ago. “They have to go with my own time because at the same time, I’m working.”

Williams agrees and said the program has helped him find a passion for learning again.

“It brought my mind back to what it used to be — to get rich again in studying, for learning and helping people in a better way.”

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