Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program
Promote and maintain the health and well-being of individuals and families through the Health Care Assistant program.
Our Health Care Assistant program is for students with strong wills and warm hearts. Health Care Assistants (HCA) also known as Resident Care Attendants (RCA) or Care Aides help individuals and families deal with common health challenges such as aging and mental health challenges. Learn how to work with a team of other health care professionals to identify and address the unique needs of each unique client.
Health Care Assistants (HCAs) are prepared to work in both healthcare facilities and community agencies. In these roles they are important and valued members of the health care team. They promote and maintain the health, safety, independence, comfort and well-being of individuals and families. HCA’s and care aides provide personal care assistance and services in a caring manner that recognizes and supports the unique needs, abilities and backgrounds of clients and residents. They work as members of a health care team in a variety of settings with direction and supervision from other health professionals
The work done by HCAs, RCAs and care aides is based on a set of fundamental values, beliefs and ethical principles that are consistently reflected in all aspects of their work with clients, residents, families, team members and others. Amongst these core values, beliefs and principles, which serve as foundations of HCA practice, are those related to:
- Human Beings
- Older Adults
- Health and Healing
- Caring and Caregiving
- The Family in Health and Healing
- Understanding Culture and Diversity
The HCA Program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as front-line care-givers, and respected members of the healthcare team, in community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health care professional, graduates provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents.
Other components to the HCA Program are Basic and Advanced Hospice Palliative Care Training, Violence Prevention Training, Introduction to RAI Observation Tool Training, Acute Care Skills, CPR-C, First Aid, Foodsafe and WHMIS. These will be completed during the program and are included in program costs. All of these additional certifications are valued by today’s employers. Students will participate in 8 weeks of clinical training.
Full-time Program Length: 29 Weeks (6.7 Months)
Clinical Placements: 300 Total Hours (4 Two-Week Placements) – Work Placement Overview
Tuition / Fees
Our Career Advisors would be happy to discuss tuition costs and financial assistance that may be available for you.
Proof of meeting English Language Competency Requirements
- English 10 or equivalent with a grade of C (for native speakers of English) or Sprott Shaw College Communication for Healthcare with a grade of 76%
- Standardized English language test score (for non-native speakers of English)
- For further information on English requirements, see your Career Advisor
Applicants for this program must also have excellent communication skills (composition); obtain a satisfactory certificate of health from a physician with a Physician’s Waiver; submit a criminal record check (must be Public Safety & Solicitor General Schedule B); provide evidence of clear TB testing prior to acceptance (all must be done no more than three months before the start of the program); and provide evidence of up-to-date Immunizations (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Influenza and others as required by clinical sites).
Resident Care Attendant (RCA), Care Aide, Home Support Agencies, Assisted Living, Acute/Complex Care Facility, Adult Day Care, Long Term Care, Special Care Units, Private Homes, Self Employment as HCA
Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals); admissions interview; successful mathematics and language entrance assessments.
For non-native speakers of English:
- English proficiency assessment required
- instructor/director interview is strongly recommended
70% average upon successful completion of all courses.
CPR, First Aid, RAI, Violence Prevention, FoodSafe and WHMIS will be completed during the program.
Online Learning Components
One or more courses in this program have Instructor-led G2 Online Learning components. The inclusion of online learning tools varies by campus and instructor. *These courses are not online-only.
Program may not be available at all campuses. Program content is subject to change.
Strategies for Student Success
- Computer basics/file management
- Goal setting, note taking, problem solving, team work
- Overview of policies & procedures
Career and Professional Development
- Interview techniques
- Create an employment package
Concepts for Practice
- Concepts of caring and person-centred care
- Basic human needs and human development
- Family culture and diversity
- Communication with clients families and colleagues
- Medical terminology, documentation and reporting
- Vital signs
- RAI, Crisis Prevention and Management
Lifestyle and Choices
- Holistic components of health and healing
- (Health Wheel)
- Basic nutrition and Food Safe
- Stress management
Introduction to Practice
- Health care system in BC and Canada
- The health care team
- Standard precautions, safety, WHMIS
Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Normal aging changes
- Common heath challenges
- Practical skills used to manage common health challenges
Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive Challenges
- Physical, psychological and behavioural changes
- Promotion of independence and quality of life
- Gentle Care
Introduction to Acute Care Skills
- Develop skills that maintain and promote comfort, safety and quality of life
- Promotion of independence
- Wound care, IV, O2, Assisting with Medications
- Post-operative care
- Physical examinations
- First Aid CPR
- Communication skills used in caring for the dying and their family
- Understanding Hospice and Palliative Care
- Personal awareness and self reflection and self care
- Practical skills used to help manage common challenges in end-of-life care
Caring For Individuals Experiencing Mental Health Challenges
- Members of health care team involved in mental health
- Common mental health issues – depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders
- Communication, treatment and preventative strategies
Clinical 1- Multi-level and/or Complex Care (Comp/Inc)
Clinical 2- Multi-Level and/or Complex Care (Comp/Inc)
Clinical 3- Multi-Level and/or Complex Care (Comp/Inc)
Clinical 4- Assisted Living and/or Home Support (Comp/Inc)
Clinical Training Information
- Supervised clinical training may include any shifts other than day shift (i.e. evenings– 3 to 11pm or nights– 11pm to 7am and possibly weekends).
- Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical training sites.
- Clinical training is conducted in shifts of a minimum of 7.5 hours per day up to 12 hours per day for a total of 150 hours or 2 weeks at each clinical training.
- Placement sites are subject to availability. Clinical sites may require more current CRC and TB testing (to be done at student’s expense)
- Food Safe, Standard First Aid, CPR-C and introduction to WHMIS must be completed prior to going out on Clinical