A first cohort was trained by the Red Cross to go into NURSING homes

Une première cohorte a été formée par la Croix-Rouge pour aller dans les CHSLD

Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
Julie Poirier, one of the trainers, taught Tuesday to future humanitarian workers how to handle workplace violence and remain calm, with the help of scenarios.

The next generation is coming in the CHSLD : the first group of workers trained by the canadian Red Cross completes training on Wednesday, and they are ready to take the relay of the military who were there until recently. Among them, many have lifted the hand with one goal in mind : to go help the elders, hit by the coronavirus. The canadian Press has encountered.

The first cohort will be deployed next Monday in residences for seniors, according to the needs of these women.

The situation is less critical than it was in march or April, in NURSING homes, but there are still needs, especially in staff. The COVID-19 has done the majority of its victims in Quebec in residences for the elderly, who were desperately short of staff.

Quebec wanted the army to remain until September — when the graduates of the cohort’s special orderlies will be ready — but Ottawa has said no. The federal government has, however, granted $ 100 million to the Red Cross to support its fight against the COVID-19. This money will be used to finance the campaign of recruitment of the organization and then the wages of future workers.

This is the first time that the Red Cross conducts such a humanitarian mission on canadian soil.

The major recruitment campaign to target a lot of young people, but not only. These are jobs that offer work experience and allow you to make the first weapon in the field of health care, said Carl Boisvert, spokesman for the Red Cross.

Four jobs available : support service, staff directors, site coordinators, and consultants in health and safety. The Red Cross has pledged to train up to 900 people.

“Humanitarian workers “

On Tuesday, in a Montreal hotel, 50 future “humanitarian workers” — men and women, many in the twenty — listened attentively to the training given by the Red Cross.

Among them was Yacine Ba, 42 years old and mother of four children.

“When I saw the situation of our seniors, I felt challenged and I really wanted to help,” she explained, in front of his classroom, which is a conference room of the hotel.

She was set on it. Not having been selected for the longer training of beneficiaries attendant, she then learned that the Red Cross recruited and tried his luck.

It was not in a job search, she said. “I just want to help,” said the woman, whose smile was audible behind the mask. “Helping people, it’s a part of me. “Her husband is part of the Red Cross for the past 30 years in Senegal and she is well aware of their work.

Maryse Parent had a similar reaction.

“On tv, it pained me at heart to see these people, who have worked all their lives, do not have their basic needs met “, said the young woman, who lives in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

She enrolled at the college in nursing for the fall, but offers all its been at the CHSLD. “To help the people, it is a very important value “, she told on his lunch hour. His mother was a host family for people with disabilities.


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The health and humanitarian, Holly Hayes has it in the blood. She is completing her masters in health policy world, including a mission with Doctors without borders last year in the democratic Republic of the Congo.

She said to see everything that is happening here ” with anguish and frustration “. As soon as his classes were completed, she received the call from the Red Cross to be a health advisor and safety.

The student who lives in Montreal but is originally from Windsor in Ontario — very much appreciate the organization. “They come to the aid of vulnerable people “, she summarizes.

And then, ” there is a major crisis in us “.

Were they afraid of contracting the COVID-19 ?

If she says to live a little bit of anxiety “because we do not know all that awaits us” in NURSING homes, Holly Hayes was very impressed by the quality of the training offered by the Red Cross, ” clearly the fruit of long experience “.

It soothes also Mrs. Ba, who would not want to contaminate his children who live with it. But she is not too concerned because “we are well prepared” by the trainers.

“I am confident that the measures put in place,” adds Ms. Hayes.

The training

Julie Poirier is one of the trainers. Normally, it provides other courses for the Red Cross, including first aid.

On Tuesday, during the passage of the canadian Press, she taught — using scenarios — how to handle acts of violence in the workplace and stay calm.

In the classroom, the future of humanitarian workers provide insights and solutions, and the trainer analyses it with them.

They have also studied various topics related to the care of the elderly, such as falls prevention, support for personal care and making meals, but also how to understand what they are experiencing, abuse, and different conditions such as dementia and wandering.

Julie Poirier has also trained military personnel who have lent a hand in NURSING homes, but the current training is more structured, she said.

She is very excited at the idea of making a difference. She explained that the workers receive four days of training, including one in their future place of work.

The future aid of service will be primarily in support of the attendants to the beneficiaries : for example, when it takes two people to move a senior in bed. But their role is also to break the isolation of residents, with the help of music, reading, or just conversation.

The students all made a commitment to work a minimum of four weeks, in a single establishment — no question of moving from one to the other and risking the spread of the COVID-19. The extended appointments are also available.

Of the persons trained by the Red Cross will therefore be in a position throughout the summer, at a minimum, and the organization is already preparing for a deployment of more staff in the long.

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