Students in the training program try out simulated disabilities. Impaired vision, and trouble walking are common disabilities among the elderly.
Students in the training program try out simulated disabilities. Impaired vision, and trouble walking are common disabilities among the elderly.

GL Now Offers Free PCA Training Program

November 7, 2019

For the first time ever, Grand Ledge High School is now offering a free technical training program. This program is a class that occurs 3-6pm after school on Mondays and certifies in PCA (Personal Care Aide).

   Like most programs, there are entry requirements. In order to apply for this program, students must be 17 or older, a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and physically able to perform PCA tasks. Although there are these few restrictions, this program is very beneficial for the students, staff, and the future. 

   “About 8 years ago I was involved in a federally funded project to develop a comprehensive PCA program in Michigan called Building Dreams Building Quality (BTBQ).” said Dr. Claire Luz.

“We have been trying to upscale this program because of a very critical shortage in care workers,” 

   This is not the only reason why this program is so important, however. There seems to be an uproar of elderly citizens who need personal care aide, so not only will there be less PCAs but there will also be more elderly to take care of.

    “The population is aging, we have a lot more people growing older and that means there is a lot more people with chronic long term conditions that will need long term supports and services,” Dr. Luz said.

The population is aging, we have a lot more people growing older and that means there is a lot more people with chronic long term conditions that will need long term supports and services. ”

— Dr. Luz

    BTBQ also teaches more modules than most other programs, due to how it focuses on teaching aide on a more relationship based level. BTBQ teaches learners to only aide in ways participants ask them to, in order to allow them more independence. BTBQ also certifies learners in CPR so they are prepared for the worst kinds of situations.

   Not only does this class offer CPR certifications, but it includes on the job experience as well. During the third trimester of school, the program schedules on site job shadowing at an undecided site. This helps learners visualize what having this type of job will actually look like. 

    The founders of this program are working hard to put the finishing touches on this pilot program. Even without everything being perfectly polished, this program still has so much to offer. The first year of this program has already started, but students are still able to join next year. Even if a student does not ideally want to be a PCA, the class is still a good building block to other medical careers, and it is free so students have nothing to lose when joining.

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