Training centre for community care workers launched at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

Principal physiotherapist Margaret Goh (left) guiding a trainee during a lesson on transferring a patient from the bed to a wheelchair at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital’s Community Training Institute.
Principal physiotherapist Margaret Goh (left) guiding a trainee during a lesson on transferring a patient from the bed to a wheelchair at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital’s Community Training Institute.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A new training centre for community care workers was launched at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital on Friday (Sept 7), expanding the reach of its training courses to participants beyond the hospital's staff.

Called the Community Training Institute, it offers 22 courses including topics on nursing, rehabilitation and management skills.

The courses, which run from now until the end of the year, take place over one to two days and cost between $20 and $500.

These courses are run in partnership with organisations from various industries, including polytechnics , the Alzheimer's Disease Association and HCA Hospice Care, as well as private training institutions.

More courses on mental health and management skills will be introduced next year.

The hospital and the Institute for Adult Learning, an institute under SkillsFuture Singapore for continuing education and training, also signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday, which will see the instituteconducting training for trainers from the hospital's Community Training Institute and helping 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 sited 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 the gaps in training are."

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 its in-house training when she joined 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 underwent 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 out from scratch and still need to build up knowledge."