Quebec government launches orderly training program

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Thousands of orderlies-in-training filed into vocational schools across Quebec Monday for the first time as part of the provincial government’s emergency préposé aux béneficiaires (PAB) program.
Students will be trained for the next three months, gaining hands-on experience before dispersing in CHLSDs throughout the province. Nearly 10,000 future orderlies gained admittance into the PAB program.
The 12-week, 375-hour intensive training program consists of classroom work as well as in-field experience. Students are paid $760 per week during the training session. Upon completing the program, orderlies will make a starting annual salary of $49,000.
According to Julie Lemay, a teacher at the 24-Juin Vocational Training Centre in Sherbrooke, opening day went by without a hitch. She was impressed with the crop of students selected for the program.
“I’m blown away by the quality of the selection, the students recruited are all here for a good reason and the day went really well,” said Lemay.
The future orderlies will undergo 120 hours of theoretical and laboratory training at the vocational training centre. They will also experience 255 hours of practical training at long term care facilities.
The Quebec government’s website clarifies that students “will not travel back and forth between the vocational training centres and the health and social services facilities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.”
When asked about any concerns over the length of the program, which was originally slated for nine months, Lemay responded that she doesn’t foresee any issues, especially considering how dedicated the students are to becoming orderlies.
“Yes, the three months is quick but it’s all possible, given that we get a select group of motivated students,” Lemay said. “With this group now, there won’t be any problem giving them quality training in a span of three months.”
She added that in the Eastern Townships there are 396 students enrolled in the PAB program. It works out to 18 groups of 22 students spread out in various vocational schools, including the Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre.
Lemay is an experienced orderly instructor. She taught the regular program for 11 years before taking on the challenge of turning over properly trained orderlies in three months. She teaches the day students, and follows the same group every day.
The training will show students how to care for and encourage the autonomy of seniors and vulnerable individuals. They will also learn to provide moral support, prevent infections and contamination, and study end-of-life care.

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