COVID-19: reinforcements in health that are neglected

COVID-19: des renforts en santé qui sont délaissés

Dozens of students at vocational training health, who had to obtain their diploma this spring say they are “left behind” by Quebec, which has made their journey on the ice to train in accelerated 10 000 new agents to the beneficiaries.

While thousands of future orderlies begin this week their accelerated training, the graduation rate for vocational education programs in health is fallow for a good number of students.

“They have started a new cohort of three months; we, we don’t know when it starts again. Ourselves, we had three months of courses and a traineeship, and then we were graduates!” laments Emilia Pineault, who was supposed to graduate to clerk on July 3, at the vocational training Centre (PSC) Harricana in Amos, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

The mother of three children, aged 31 years, is one of some 30 graduates of the vocational training Center (PSC) Harricana plaguing their brake from the suspension of the course, the 13 march.

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“It’s shocking. It’s just that I want to finish my training and go to work”, she says.

30 days of his graduation

In the case of Paola Poulin, 30 days of training separated her degree when the crisis broke out in Quebec. She considers herself lucky to have finished in time, helped by the PSC Fierbourg, who recognized his work experience for his degree to be granted.

Only 30 days of training separated Paola Poulin of his degree when Quebec has been put on pause. Luckily, the new clerk to the beneficiaries has been assisted by the PSC Fierbourg who recognized his work experience for his degree.

“[Need staff] is urgent, but let it end with these people! It still has a few months, they have the basics, knowledge. They have even paid for the training,” says the new clerk of 38 years, a former educator in the CPE.


Most of the students in the program officer currently act as aids service at the beginning of their training, while aspiring nursing assistants often have the role of a servant.

Vicky Soucy belongs to the second group. The student, 27-year-old was hopeful of getting his diploma in may, as expected, especially in the current context.

Gold Ms. Soucy and 21 of her classmates still do not know when they will be able to use their training, although they do have more than two weeks of internship to finish and that they work in long-term care for three months.

“We are all disappointed. We can’t use our abilities, we can’t help our cause. One is left behind”, insists the Jonquiéroise, who is said to recognize the need of nursing assistants in the field.

“Set aside”

The CEO of the Federation of orderlies du Québec (FPBQ), Michel Lemelin, also believes that the treatment of future graduates is “unfair”.

“They have been put aside, he laments. I understand that the prime minister wants to respond to the state of emergency possible in the autumn, but it is not necessary to [the] neglect.”

Officials of PSC sympathise with the students, saying to fold the best they can be in the ministerial directives. “I can understand that […] it is unfair for them. It is a fact. But he had to act as a company and put in place something to prepare for a possible second wave,” says Mélissa Laflamme, director of the PSC Fierbourg, to Quebec, which, unlike other centres, has re-launched the distance training.

“The students who have started [in the fall], one has the opportunity to graduate. But if they are returned in January or February, there is still a bit of learning to do,” says Ms. Laflamme.

The reality is different in the region, falls under Johanne Godbout, secretary-general and head of communications for the CFP Harricana, Val-d’or. “We have a center in health with 10 teachers, and they have been called to mount the programme for the accelerated training”, she says.

A parliamentary committee, on 20 may, the minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, said that he had good hopes of providing solutions “in the next few days, if not weeks”, so that we can proceed to graduation. If the priority remains the “support to the health network,” the ministry ensures that the training “should resume gradually” as “the situation resolves in the regions”.


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