What Training Do I Need to Become a Health Care Assistant?


The moment you decide to become a Health Care Assistant is an exciting and lifechanging moment – it’s the start of a selfless career caring for others. However, just like any role in the healthcare industry, training, knowledge, and competency are required before you can be qualified to serve as a Health Care Assistant (HCA).

Below, we’ll be going over the steps on how you can become a Health Care Assistant in as little as 29 weeks with Sprott Shaw College.

Step 1: Choose and Complete a Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program

The first step of choosing a Health Care Assistant Program is crucial and can shape the kind of Health Care Assistant you will be, depending on the method and level of training you receive. As an aspiring healthcare professional, you want to find and take a hands-on program that will prepare you for different situations and scenarios that could happen on the job, thereby making you a safe and competent healthcare provider.

licensed practical nurse or health care assistant helping elderly man in wheelchair wearing mask

At Sprott Shaw College, our 29-week Health Care Assistant Program equips you with first-hand skills and knowledge on how to serve clients and patients in a variety of community and care facility settings as a front-line caregiver. Throughout the course of our program, you will learn how to provide person-centered care that promotes and maintains your future patients’ physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and social well-being.

In addition to patient care theory, our program also includes a variety of hands-on training and certification in advanced hospice, palliative, and acute care skills and introduction to Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI-MDS 2.0) Observation Tools. Besides these specialized health care training courses, our program also includes Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NVCI), Standard First-Aid with CPR-C/AED, FOODSAFE, and WHMIS training and certification.

At the end of our program, you will have the opportunity to attend four clinical and practicum placements in multi-level, complex, long-term care, assisted living, and/or home support environments. Thanks to our partnerships with health authorities across British Columbia, you will be able to experience your placements at Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health Authority, Island Health, Northern Health, and Interior Health Authority.

After completing our program, in addition to receiving your diploma and the certificates mentioned above, you will also receive a completion certificate for “Introduction to Acute Care Skills” and “Medication Administration Assistance.”

Once you’ve completed our Health Care Assistant Program, you are ready for the next step!

Step 2: Get Registered with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry

Smiling nurse helping senior lady to walk around the nursing home

The BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry reviews and recognizes Health Care Assistant Programs in British Columbia to ensure that they are: following the provincial curriculum, implementing a common set of training standards, and graduating competent front-line health care providers. In order to be registered to work as a Health Care Assistant in BC, you need to complete a recognized Health Care Assistant Program.

At Sprott Shaw College, all of our Health Care Assistant Programs across our campuses are fully recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, so graduates of our HCA Program are eligible for registration. Being registered with the registry demonstrates your competence and credentials to work for publicly funded employers in BC. 

Once you are registered, congratulations because you are now officially a qualified Health Care Assistant!

To learn more about our Health Care Assistant Program or how you can start your career, contact an advisor below.

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