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This program prepares individuals with previous health care assistant education and experience for practice in BC. It is designed to address individual needs as identified through the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) HCA Competency Assessment. It enables individuals to review and enhance previously acquired knowledge and upgrade their skills to meet practice requirements so that they may become registered as HCAs in BC with BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.
The work done by HCAs is based on a set of fundamental values, beliefs and ethical principles that are consistently reflected in all aspects of their work with clients, 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 Upgrade Program will include the following:
1. Comprehensive Theory Review Modules (2 months, 165 hours)
The theory review component is designed to be completed online with dedicated instructor support and supervision to ensure students meet required learning outcomes. Each module is a highly intensive and streamlined version of each HCA Program Provincial Curriculum coursework (theory coursework). Individuals will work at their own pace, and an HCA instructor will be available to answer content-specific questions and to support student progress.
2. HCA Lab Skills Review and Skills Testing (1 month, 30 hours) After completing the theory review, individuals will be oriented to the skills lab will work with an HCA instructor to have a basic HCA skills refresher. Individuals will then be provided with a booklet of client care case scenarios and lab procedure performance checklists so that they can be assessed before
going into the complex care placement.
3. Supervised Practice Experience Multi-Level/Complex Care (60 hours)
Individuals will be assigned to a clinical setting will be directly supervised and evaluated by an HCA Clinical Instructor during this experience. There will be an opportunity for orientation at the start of the placement and then the student will be expected to competency perform HCA skills and meet program learning outcomes in the practice setting.
The HCA Upgrade 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-centred care
aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients.
The following are to be completed prior to starting the program if practice education placement is required:
* Provide evidence of clear TB testing prior to acceptance (all must be done no more than three months before the start of the program);
* 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.
* Criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults. If not a Canadian citizen, a Criminal Record Search with the Vulnerable Sector
from your country of origin must be secured.
* Obtain a satisfactory certificate of health from a physician with a Physician’s Waiver
Note: Students are responsible for all costs related to immunization.
Learners must have their First Aid/CPR, FoodSafe, Violence Prevention, SPECO, and WHIMS courses to be eligible to participate in the practicum component.
The nine program learning outcomes that the students must meet for successful completion of this program are:
1. Provides person-centered care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual client
2. Uses an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social, cognitive and/or spiritual well-being of clients and families
3. Provides care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges
4. Provides care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges
5. Interacts with other members of the healthcare team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals
6. Communicates clearly, accurately and in sensitive ways with clients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts
7. Provides personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner
8. Recognizes and responds to own self-development, learning and health-enhancement needs
9. Performs the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable and professional/ethical manner
Supervised clinical training may include any shifts other than day shift (i.e. evenings – 3pm to 11pm or nights – 11pm to 7am
and possible weekends).
Clinical placement sites are subject to availablitity (may be in various areas).
Clinical sites may require more current and/or additional CRC (for instance: RCMP) and TB testing (to be done at student’s expense).
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from practice experience sites.
• Characteristics of caring person-centered
• Basic human needs
• Human development
• Family in health and healing
• Multiculturalism and diversity
• Critical thinking and problem solving
• Protection and Safety in health and healing
• Introduction to interpersonal communication
• Knowledge to self
• Non-verbal communication
• Responding to others
• Violence prevention / Abuse awareness
• Conflict management and resolution
• Understanding health
• Components of health
• Psychological / emotional (feeling) components of health
• Cognitive (thinking) components of health
• Social (interactive) components of health
• Spiritual components of health
• Lifestyle change
• Workplace settings and contexts
• Team work in health care settings
• Legal and ethical issues
• Professional approaches to practice
• Self-reflective practice
• Medical terminology
• Structure and function of the human body
• Nutrition and healing
• End-of-life care
• Challenges to health and healing, including:
• Common challenges
• Board effects on the individual and family of health challenges
• Common disorders related to each body system
• Chronic illness
• Applying critical thinking and problem-solving when caring for individuals experiencing common health challenges in various health care settings
• Cognitive challenges in older adulthood
• Elder Abuse
• Mental health challenges
• Stigma associated with mental health challenges
• Caring for the person and family
• Suicide risks and prevention
• Infection prevention
• Measuring vital signs
• Health and cold applications
• Assisting with oxygen needs
• Assisting with medications
• Assistance with administering medications
• Wound care
• Problem Solving when carrying out care-giving procedures
• Asepsis and prevention of infection
• Promoting comfort and rest
• Promoting person hygiene
• Moving, positioning and transferring a client
• Bed making
• Promoting exercise and activity
• Promoting healthy nutrition and fluid intake
• Promoting urinary and bowel elimination
• Home management
• Assisting with medications
• Lab skills booklet
• Lab review
• Client care scenarios
• Open lab practice
• Final skills testing
• Orientation at the start of placement
• 40 hour practicum placement