A new training centre for community care workers was launched at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital yesterday, expanding the reach of its training courses to participants beyond staff at the hospital.
Called the Community Training Institute, it offers 22 courses including nursing, rehabilitation and management skills. The one-to two-day courses, which run from now until the end of this year, cost between $20 and $500.
The courses, which are also open to the public, are run in partnership with several other organisations and groups, including polytechnics, the Alzheimer's Disease Association and HCA Hospice Care and private training institutions.
More courses on mental health and management skills will be introduced next year.
The hospital and the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), which is under statutory board SkillsFuture Singapore, also signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday for the IAL to train the Community Training Institute's trainers.
IAL will also help to develop course materials.
Dr Ow Chee Chung, chief executive of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, said one of the advantages of having a training institute within a healthcare institution is that it can provide hands-on training, in addition to the theoretical aspects.
"Currently there are a lot of good training providers, but there isn't a dedicated platform (for the community care sector)," he added. "And because Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital has most of the services required in this sector, we have a good idea of what are the gaps in training."
The hospital aims to attain the status of an Approved Training Organisation within the next two to three years, to provide Workforce Skills Qualification courses for community care workers, said Dr Ow.
Ms Amy Wan, a therapy aide at the hospital, said she has benefited from in-house training after she joined the hospital last year and hopes to continue learning new skills.
The 43-year-old made the switch from an administration executive to her current job and completed a workshop on how to handle and transfer patients safely.
"I enjoy the job because talking to the patients is quite an enjoyable experience," she said. "The training helps because I started from scratch and still need to build up knowledge."