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Health Care Assistant

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
790 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
29 Weeks
Includes holidays and professional days.
Delivery Methods:
  • In-Class Instruction
  • Combined Delivery (Both In-Class and Distance)
Program content is subject to change.
Our Health Care Assistant program includes hands-on acute, hospice, and palliative care training and certification

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 provide personal care assistance and services in a caring manner that recognizes and supports the unique needs, abilities, and backgrounds of clients. 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 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

•  Healthcare

•  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 caregivers, 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.

Other components to the HCA Program are Basic and Advanced Hospice Palliative Care Training, Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum, Introduction to RAI Observation Tool Training, Acute Care Skills, Medication Administration Assistance, Standard First Aid with CPR-C and AED, Foodsafe, WHMIS and Student Practice Education ‘Core’ Orientation (SPECO).  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 and/or practicum training.

A director/instructor interview may be required.

  • Basic and advanced hospice and palliative care training and certification
  • Acute care skills training and certification
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) training and certification
  • Introduction to Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI-MDS 2.0) Observation Tool training and certification
  • Standard First Aid with CPR-C/AED training and certification
  • FoodSafe training and certification 
  • WHMIS training and certification
  • Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO) training

Why Study at Sprott Shaw?

  • All-inclusive program costs where what you see is what you pay. Our costs include registration fees, assessment fees, tuition, textbooks, supplies, course materials, uniforms, certificates, graduation fees, clinical and practicum fees, and much more
  • Career and professional development success courses to help create a career development marketing plan, learn the cardinal rules of professionalism, and identify the target markets and employment resources for the healthcare industry 
  • Preparation and orientation courses to teach you how to find credible research, write papers, create proper citation formats including APA, and study effectively for exams
  • Certificates including Standard First Aid with CPR-C/AED, FoodSafe, WHMIS, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
  • Access to dedicated Employment Services Specialists (ESS) who can help you with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and the overall job search after graduation
  • Monthly intake system so you can start your education when you want to without the wait
  • Clinical and practicum opportunities with health authorities across BC including Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health Authority, Island Health, Northern Health, and Interior Health Authority
  • Grant and scholarship opportunities are available to help you save on tuition. Up to $4000 in scholarships and grants are open to recent high school graduates, Sprott Shaw alumni, military veterans, and more! Click here to browse our full list of grants and scholarships.

Learning Objectives

  • The nine program learning outcomes that the students must meet for successful completion of this program are:
  1. Provides person-centred 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.

Introduction to Acute Care Skills

In our “Introduction to Acute Care Skills” course, our curriculum includes all of the basic introductory acute care and medication administration assistance concepts included in the HCA BC provincial curriculum. After successful completion of our Health Care Assistant diploma program, you will also receive completion certificates for “Introduction to Acute Care Skills” and “Medication Administration Assistance.”

BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry

The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry reviews and recognizes Health Care Assistant programs in BC to ensure that they are: following the provincial curriculum, implementing a common set of training standards, and graduating competent front-line health care providers. Confirming that health care assistants meet registration requirements is integral to the Registry’s mandate of patient protection and improved standards of care.

Graduates of the HCA program delivered by Sprott Shaw College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry to demonstrate their competence and credentials to work for publicly funded employers in BC.

Success Stories

  • “The course hours worked well for me as a parent and my instructors were amazing and passionate about providing holistic individualized care and creating a healthy work environment.” – Amy J.
  • “I loved every moment of my time with Sprott Shaw! Everyone who works on the campus is just amazing.” – Lindsey S.
  • “I have always had a passion for helping others as well as for working in the medical field. The HCA program gave me the opportunity to grow my skills and take on a more hands-on role in helping people.” – Kelsey W.

Where Are Sprott Shaw Graduates Working? 

Our Health Care, Nursing and Dental graduates can be found working throughout the province. In addition to health authorities across BC, our Practical Nursing and Health Care Assistant graduates are working at recognized hospitals like Vancouver General Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Chilliwack General Hospital, Kelowna General Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, and more. 

Our Dental Assistant graduates can be found working at a variety of dental clinics throughout the province such as Family Care Dental Clinic, Heavenly Dental, NOVO Dental Centre, and more. Our Pharmacy Assistants can be found working in Walmart Pharmacies, Rexall Pharmacies, and numerous other independent pharmacies throughout BC. 

Click below to learn more about where our graduates are currently working. Please note that these lists do not cover every single business that has hired a Sprott Shaw graduate, but they do provide a good representation of the sort of industries that Sprott Shaw graduates are working in. 



Related Programs

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Career Opportunities

Acute/Complex Care Facility
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living
Care Aide
Home Support Agencies
Long Term Care
Private Homes
Residential Support Worker
Self-Employment as a HCA
Special Care Units
Admission Requirements:

Prior to Acceptance:

  •   Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be ‘true certified copies’ or originals).
  •   Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview
Proof of meeting English Language Competency Requirements:
  • English 10 or equivalent with a grade of ‘C’ or Sprott Shaw College English for Healthcare with a grade of 76% (for applicants whose first language is English).
  • Standardized English language test score (for applicants whose first language is not English).
  • For further information on English requirements, see your Career Advisor.
  • Excellent communication skills (composition).
  • SSC Health Declaration form (or Physician’s Waiver).
  • Submit a criminal record check from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults (Schedule B must be done no more than three months before program start date). (must be done no more than three months before program start date).
  • For international students, a Police Certificate from their country of origin (must be done no more than 1 year before program start date.
  • Provide evidence of up-to-date Immunizations: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Pertussis.
  • Evidence of full COVID-19 vaccinations.
Practice Education Requirement:
  • Provide evidence of clear TB testing prior to acceptance (must be done no more than three months before the work experience start date).
  • Influenza vaccinations (and others), as required by clinical sites.
  • Adhere to the requirements of the BC Practice Education Guidelines.
Diploma Requirement:
  • 70% average upon successful completion of all courses.
  • CPR, First Aid, RAI, SPECO, WHMIS and FoodSafe Level 1 (or an appropriate equivalent as listed on the BCCDC website) will be completed during the program.
* Health Care Assistant was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 29 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Concepts of caring and person-centered care
  • Basic human needs and human development
  • Standard precautions, safety, WHMIS

  • Concepts of caring and person-centred care
  • Professional communication
  • Speaking and writing professionally
  • Conflict management
  • Family culture and diversity
  • Dealing with others
  • Building personal strengths

  • Holistic components of health and healing (Health Wheel)
  • Basic nutrition and FoodSafe
  • Home management
  • Self-care and health promotion

  • Health care system in BC and Canada
  • The health care team
  • Job readiness
  • Application of Professionalism
  • Do Bugs Need Drugs
  • Workplace culture

  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage

  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage common health challenges

  • Healing 2 - Cognitive Challenges
  • Physical, psychological and behavioural changes
  • Promotion of independence and quality of life
  • Confusion, delirium and dementia
  • Me & U-First Alzheimer Society
  • Home Instead eLearning Series
  • Standard First Aid with CPR - C and AED

  • Healing 3 - Introduction to Acute Care Skills
  • Intro to the acute care environment
  • Role of the HCA in acute care
  • Medication Administration Assistance
  • Wound care, IV, O2, Assisting with Medications
  • Post-operative care, diabetes care
  • Vital signs
  • Assist with physical examinations

  • Healing 4 - Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Communication skills used in caring for the dying and their family
  • Understanding hospice and palliative care
  • Personal awareness, self-reflection and self-care
  • Practical skills to help manage common challenges in end-of-life care
  • Food Safe

  • Healing 5 - Mental Health Challenges
  • Members of the health care team involved in mental health
  • Common mental health issues - depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders
  • Communication, treatment and preventative strategies
  • Abuse awareness
  • Promoting client well-being Developmental disabilities
  • NVCI - Non-violence Crisis Intervention

  • 2-week clinical experience

  • 2-week clinical experience

  • 2-week clinical experience

  • 2-week clinical or practicum experience

• Computer basics/file management
• Goal setting, note taking, problem solving, team work
• Overview of policies & procedures
• Demonstrate ability to use MS Word and MS PowerPoint

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

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Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

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