Julius Sagala, receiving certificate from Dr. Anne Lavack, Provost and Vice President, Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
For immediate release
METRO VANCOUVER, BC - (August 17, 2011) - Kwantlen Polytechnic University recently held a closing ceremony at its Surrey campus for members of the Professional Communication for Internationally Educated Health Professionals program. The program helps internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) prepare for competency exams and improve their communication skills, both written and verbal, in order to ease their transition into the Canadian health care setting.
The closing ceremony recognized 17 IEHPs who had completed the program which is funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and is offered tuition-free to participants. Participants included health care professionals from India, Iran, and China.
“During this program I found two great jobs,” says Julius Sagala, a graduate of the professional communication program. “I believe that I landed my jobs as a pharmacy assistant and as a physician assistant as a result of the professional communication skills and confidence that I gained through this course.”
The Professional Communication for IEHPs program is designed to help nurses, doctors, midwives, pharmacists, occupational therapists and physical therapists that are registered in their country of origin, improve their communication skills so they meet fluency requirements, pass competency exams and qualify for entry into professional refresher courses.
“It is a real honour and privilege to work with these dedicated professionals who are so motivated and eager to learn new communication skills,” says Ann Talbot, a faculty member who teaches in IEHP. “Although the course can be quite intensive at times, there is always a great sense of camaraderie, professionalism and teamwork. What more could you ask for as a teacher?”
The program is performance-based and uses role-play exercises to help participants improve pronunciation, expand their health vocabulary, increase their awareness of communication styles, and increase their understanding of culturally expected behaviours of the Canadian health care system.
"There are many reasons this course is a success but one of the main reasons is the students,” says Melissa Swanink, IEHP faculty member. “Collectively, they bring a range of experience and knowledge from their health care fields, and we draw upon that knowledge in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.”
In order to take part in the program, participants must be internationally educated health professionals who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, unemployed, not receiving employment insurance, have been assessed using the Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test and can commit to attend the program Monday – Friday for 14 weeks.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,000 students annually have a choice from over 135 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. For more information about Kwantlen Polytechnic University, visit: www.kwantlen.ca
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