$50,000 worth of online health courses donated to help fight COVID-19

A Gold Coast medical educator is donating $50,000 worth of health industry courses to bolster Queensland’s “Care Army”.

The Burleigh Heads-based Australian Paramedical College (APC) is offering free courses through MyHealthStart to help volunteers become better equipped in basic medical and pandemic training.

APC helped streamline the MyHealthStart online courses to help people move from the unemployment line straight to the front line of the global pandemic.

The fast-tracked courses will enable community members to be ready within weeks for any ‘worst case scenario’ of the pandemic – and ultimately give them a pathway to a career in the health industry.

APC founder Peter Evans hopes to help hundreds of people become equipped with essential pandemic and medical knowledge so they can assist hospitals and medical centres.

“There are a lot of people who want to help out in the current medical crisis but don’t know how,” said Mr Evans.

“The courses will enable these people to get the basic training, including pandemic training, that will equip them to help out within two weeks.

“We feel it’s very important as a community to contribute where we can and the least we can do rather than donating straight cash is to offer courses that will equip people who want to help out as soon as possible,” said Mr Evans.

19-year-old MyHealthStart participant Ebony Lawlor said the course have given her insight into the discipline of health she wishes to pursue, and skills she can put to practice now.

“I’m excited to put the knowledge I’ve gained into practice and be on the front line in this critical time, helping those who need it most,” Ms Lawlor said.

Mr Evans helped streamline the MyHealthStart online courses to cater for the current critical areas of need.

“The infection control course has modules around how to manage infection spreading during a pandemic,” said Mr Evans.

“These are fundamental to community needs at the moment, and it gives people the knowledge they need to play their part at a grassroots level to minimise the spread of this virus.

“We’ve also had a number of inquiries from people who recently lost their jobs due to the shutdown and who are looking to reskill themselves for new careers.”

MyHealthStart has offered pathways to careers in the health industry for hundreds of Australians. The online courses are backed by staff who hold the paramedical and education qualifications necessary to facilitate the training.

The training is a stepping stone to further education in a broad range of health and allied disciplines, including nursing, aged care, individual support, disability support, health administration and allied health assistance.

“Age is no barrier to start afresh and we believe a career in health should not be out of the reach of people, especially now when the need for qualified professionals has never been greater,” said Mr Evans.

“Among those who undertake our paramedic courses, for example, some 80 per cent go on to further study to become fully qualified professionals.

“Paramedics ultimately need to be tertiary educated, but a lot just take our course first rather than outlaying the $60,000 or so to go to university only to decide that it might not be what they want to do.”

MyHealthStart courses teach foundational skills that prepare students for health care jobs and specific skills that can build confidence and knowledge.

Participants learn the basics of health through an online platform, and gain insights into the job roles from industry representatives, allowing them to choose the career pathway and outcome that suits them. 

After two weeks participants will gain a certificate of completion in Medical Terminology and Infection Control.

MyHealthStart graduates can select pathways to a range of higher education studies, including a Diploma of Paramedical Science, Diploma of Nursing, Certificate III Individual Support (Aged Care) or Certificate III/IV in Allied Health Assistance.

Should students choose to pursue further study they will receive credit from the MyHealthStart courses.

Mr Evans said that many people may be sitting at home thinking about how they can offer a hand during the COVID-19 crisis, and the MyHealthStart courses will allow them to do this.

“It’s never too late for anyone to learn or to start a new career and there’s no better time than right now to do something about it.”

100 scholarships are available to people of all ages, right across the country.

Places are accepted on a first come, first served basis. To secure your spot visit www.myhealthstart.com.au.