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apprentice

Yale New Haven Health and Connecticut Department of Labor leaders held a press conference Nov. 17 to announce a $10 million grant YNHHS received for a new registered apprenticeship program that will train 1,250 patient care associates/patient care technicians over the next four years. 


YNHHS receives $10 million grant for new patient care technician apprenticeship program

Yale New Haven Health has received a $10 million grant for a new registered apprenticeship program that will train 1,250 patient care associates/patient care technicians over the next four years. 

YNHHS and Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) leaders announced the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity, and Innovation grant at a Nov. 17 press conference at Yale New Haven Hospital. The apprenticeship program is expected to be in full swing by the first of the year across the health system.

“Yale New Haven Health was honored to be selected by the Connecticut Department of Labor as its partner for this grant,” said Keith Churchwell, MD, YNHH president. “During their training, the apprenticeship program participants will be full-time employees receiving pay and benefits, both of which are essential in helping them get reestablished following pandemic-related job loss or career transition. This is an important partnership for the health system and will ultimately increase the availability of high-quality health care in Connecticut.” 

Apprenticeship program participants will come from state- and federally funded training programs in Bridgeport, New Haven and New London, and from the communities surrounding YNHHS hospitals. 

The apprenticeship will include classroom learning, on-the-job training and mentoring by registered nurses. It focuses on patient care associates/patient care technicians (PCAs/PCTs) because of their integral role on the healthcare team, said Judith Hahn, RN, PhD, director, YNHH Center for Professional Practice Excellence. 

PCAs/PCTs work under nurse or physician supervision. Their duties may include taking vital signs, performing blood draws and other procedures. They interact with and advocate for patients, and support them and their families in the healthcare setting. 

“These staff members provide a substantial amount of hands-on patient care,” Hahn said. “This apprenticeship will extend their skills, so they can provide a higher level of care, which will help enhance patient outcomes.”

This apprenticeship model can help hospitals throughout the state meet a critical need for healthcare workers, Hahn said. YNHHS hires approximately 400 PCAs/PCTs annually at its Connecticut hospitals, and the demand for these professionals is expected to increase statewide.

CTDOL partnered with YNHHS on this grant in part because the health system has collaborated with the state on other successful apprenticeship programs. For example, nearly 1,000 registered apprentices in the registered nurse and surgical technician fields currently work at YNHHS’ Connecticut hospitals.

 “The healthcare sector has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic,” CTDOL Interim Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said during the press conference. “This new apprenticeship program represents another step toward training the next generation of workers up the healthcare career ladder so they are ready to care for patients, step up as the next generation workforce in the healthcare industry, and have career growth opportunity in the field.”