Tag Archives: Smart Biz

Cost-Wise wants to put your money back in your pocket.

New local business says chances are you’re overpaying for your telecom services and they can help.

Have you looked at your phone bill recently?  Like really looked at it?  If so, you may actually notice that everything looks right and you’re paying exactly what you were told when you signed your contract.

Between cell phones, office phones, and internet costs, many of the telecom companies are vying for your business.  Each one is offering the best possible price for your needs.  Without a background in the industry, it’s easy to just agree and assume it’s the best deal.  As time goes on and your needs change, the original services may no longer be appropriate or cost effective.  This is where Cost Wise Business Consulting can help. Continue reading Cost-Wise wants to put your money back in your pocket.

This Month in Canadian History

A look at 10 historical events that took place during the month of April 

 April 23, 1851

Canada’s first official postage stamp, the three-penny beaver, is issued.

 April 2, 1871 

The first census of the Dominion of Canada lists the population as 3,689,257. Continue reading This Month in Canadian History

Silas Meeches Opens up about his Journey to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

Skills/Compétences Canada sat down with Silas Meeches, the WorldSkills Team Canada 2017 competitor in CNC Milling, to discuss his interesting journey to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017. Silas opened up about what the competition represents to him and how enthusiastic he is about the opportunity to compete in his trade at the international level. Continue reading Silas Meeches Opens up about his Journey to WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

Red River College inks first Bachelor of Nursing degrees

By Brenlee Coates

A student in RRC's BN program assists a patient in clinical training with her teacher's support.
A student in RRC’s BN program assists a patient in clinical training with her teacher’s support.

The Bachelor of Nursing (BN) you receive after concluding your studies at Red River College is the same sort of sheet of paper that any university would issue, but the program runs a little differently at the college.
The biggest difference is in the schedule. The college runs a three-year, condensed program that is equivalent to a four-year academic degree.
“I didn’t really realize what the difference would be until I went through it, but I’m really happy I did it through Red River,” says recent grad, Cindi Lecuyer.
“I’ve heard a few people ask where I graduated from and they say ‘Oh yeah, I can tell.’”
The three-year degree program was developed in response to the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM)’s educational requirements which evolved to necessitate that nurses obtain degrees. The national Registered Nurse standard was adjusted and the CRNM had to align itself with it.
That meant that Red River College (RRC)’s current framework, which was a joint BN program and a separate diploma program, no longer met the requirements and had to be dissolved.
Luckily, the college had already begun looking in this direction and had laid a lot of the groundwork for a new program.
In 2009, the provincial government gave RRC degree granting authority, and shortly thereafter, the program was announced. Its first 225 students began in August 2010, and its graduates had their winter convocation in February this year.
Program chair, Karen Wall, has been with the college since 1978, and was instrumental in shaping the degree program and getting it running.
She even withheld from retiring until she could see the first graduates off in February.
“This is what I wanted to accomplish,” says Wall, of the degree program.
“Now someone with a fresh look can see where to go from here.”
Perhaps the best credit to the program’s success has been the reply from the workforce, which snatched up every last one of RRC’s grads of the program.
“That’s the best feedback we can get as a program, that we’re producing what is needed,” says Wall.
Lecuyer, who works full-time for the Children’s Hospital in the float pool, says she “felt really comfortable” stepping into a nursing position after graduation.“I felt like what we learned actually corresponded to what we needed to know,” she says.
Lecuyer also points to the instructors who were very up-to-date on current practices and made the training feel very “relevant and beneficial.”

RRC's BN students get hands-on training
RRC’s BN students get hands-on training.

When it comes to entrance requirements to the program at RRC, students may enter the program after completing high school and anatomy and physiology courses.
The program already has a two-and-a-half to three-year wait list, so entry is competitive. Many people take University 1 and knock off some of the course requirements while they await entry, or take RRC’s health care aide certificate program to see if they enjoy studies in healthcare.Wall feels there are benefits to a bit of a delayed entry to the program.
“It’s a hard course and you have to be really disciplined,” says Wall. The program spans 10 months a year, and features three terms per year instead of the standard two.
Each term is followed by a week break to give the students a bit of relief from the intensive schedule.
Although the program is condensed and accelerated, its design allows for some flexibility.
For instance, only the courses in the first year of the program are sequential. After that, in years two and three, the terms are more randomized and you may do courses in no particular order within each year’s programming.
That means, if you have to drop a course or fail a course, you can repeat it in the following term – not wait an entire school year to get back on track.
“It makes it easier for students to make decisions for themselves,” says Wall. “We’re all human.”
Other initiatives that are unique to RRC is an ACCESS program that focuses on Aboriginal students, recent immigrants and single parents who cannot meet the requirements for entry in the program because of social or economic factors, location, or lack of formal education.
Counsel and academic upgrading is extended to these people, and 50 seats each year are saved for students in the ACCESS program.
On top of this, the college offers a program for licensed practical nurses to get their BNs. People may do this and enter at the second-year level of the program at Red River College or take their courses by video correspondence in one of the four rural community sites operating at that time.
The six eligible rural communities are Dauphin, Neepawa, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Steinbach and Winkler.
The rural communities are approved based on their ability to offer some of the clinical training components of the program.
Wall says the rural initiative was created since rural communities are the ones with the highest demand for nurses, and her team figured people would be more likely to stay in their towns if they got to complete their training there.
When it came to the ultimate test of students writing their national nursing exam last fall, giving the college its first direct evaluation of the program, their pass rate “exceeded the provincial standard,” says Wall.
Due to high demand, the program is currently offered to Manitoban residents only.
For more information, visit rrc.mb.ca.

Can you take the heat of criticism at work?

Sad girlBy Jenny Ford

Sooner or later, we’ll all receive negative feedback on our work. Criticism is never easy to hear and it can cause stress and anxiety for many people. But if you can’t seem to handle the heat, it does have the potential to derail your career.
Learning how to handle criticism from co-workers and your boss is an important part of success. No one is perfect and you can improve your work, and yourself, by taking criticism properly.
There are two types of criticism: deconstructive and constructive. The first is the negative type of criticism. It usually comes in the form of a personal attack. For instance, your boss might say, “This report is terrible. I can’t believe how stupid you are! How did you get this wrong?”
This type of criticism can be very hard to handle. Let your boss or co-worker vent for a second. Sometimes people just want to get the frustration out. Don’t get defensive. This is easier said than done, but hold your tongue and don’t interrupt. Once they’ve said what they have to say, you can calmly state your case.
A good way to avoid getting defensive is to ask questions. What mistakes did you make? How can you improve the report? What can you do differently next time? This will turn the criticism from being deconstructive to constructive.
Reflect on what they’ve said and their answers. If their criticism isn’t justified, ignore it. If you come to the realization that there’s room for improvement, apply what you’ve learned to your work.
Constructive criticism
Constructive criticism is the positive type of criticism that’s about making you better. This type of criticism is trying to make you look good, your work better, and to take you to the next level in your job.
For example, your boss might say, “Thanks for the report. I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Might I make a few suggestions? Would you be able to clarify this point and add more detail here? Can you double check these numbers, too? I’m not sure they’re accurate.”
Part of success is learning how to improve and how to incorporate other people’s suggestions. The first step to taking this type of criticism valiantly is listening. Show you’re actively listening by nodding to their suggestions, keeping eye contact and paraphrasing what they’ve said.
Once again, don’t get defensive and keep calm. Wait for them to finish before jumping in. If you don’t think you can keep your cool, then wait for what they’ve said to settle in and set up a follow-up meeting.
Remember to ask questions with this type of criticism, too. Ask how you can avoid the mistake next time, or how to make something better. Always thank them for their help and input.
Let the suggestions sink in before ignoring them. If you’re unsure if the criticism is justified, consult with some colleagues. Have they noticed these mistakes in your work? Was the criticism merited? This isn’t about gossiping, but making sure you’re on the right track. Keep it professional.
Now, make improvements. Apply what you’ve learned and improve your work. Don’t hold grudges either. Chances are the person means well and they aren’t trying to bring you down with their suggestions. This is a learning experience, after all, to make you better.
Dealing with criticism properly is an important part of advancing in your career. Controlling your reaction can turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one. Nobody’s perfect, so keep your head cool and your attitude positive.