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Health Care Assistant

Elderly and special needs patients need fully trained aides to care for them on both a short- and long-term basis. Vancouver Career College offers an intensive Health Care Assistant program that will provide you with the specialized training needed to work as an intermediate or extended caregiver.

During this program, students learn about chronic conditions, anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. Additionally, courses focus on data collection, monitoring patient health, and how to create a support network for the family members of a special needs patient.

Through training and practica, students also gain the skills and experience to work with geriatric patients and those with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. The Health Care Assistant program also provides "real world" training with two clinical care supervised learning positions. You will spend three weeks working in intermediate care and four weeks in an extended care role. In addition to their Health Care Assistant diploma, graduates receive the following certifications: Food Safe Level 1 Certificate, CPR “C” Certificate, WHMIS Certificate and Standard First Aid Certificate.

“My instructors helped me to complete this program in the way that they explained everything that needed to be done. They explained why we needed to learn it, and they encouraged us along the way. They explained how we could achieve our goals.” – Isabel R., Vancouver Career College Grad

This program is 28 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Long-Term Care Aide
  • Home Health Care Worker
  • Residential Care Attendant
  • Health Care Assistant
  • Nursing Aide


Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.

Code Course Name Hours
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.
  • HCA100 Health and Healing: Concepts of Practice 75

    • This course provides students with the opportunity to develop a theoretical framework for practice. Students will be introduced to the philosophical values and theoretical understandings that provide a foundation for competent practice as an HCA. The course focuses on concepts of caring and person-centred care, basic human needs and human development, family, and culture and diversity as they relate to health and healing. Students will also be introduced to a problem-solving model that will be critical to their practice.
  • HCA101 Health 1: Interpersonal Communications 50

    • This course focuses on the development of self-awareness, increased understanding of others and development of effective interpersonal communication skills that can be used in a variety of care giving contexts. Students will be encouraged to become more aware of the impact of their own communication choices and patterns. They will have opportunity to develop and use communication techniques that demonstrate personal awareness, respect and active listening skills.
  • HCA102 Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices 25

    • This course introduces students to a holistic concept of health and the components of a health enhancing lifestyle. Students will be invited to reflect on their own experience of health, recognizing challenges and resources that can impact lifestyle choices. Students will be introduced to a model that can be applied in other courses to understand the multi-faceted aspects of health and healing.
  • HCA200 HCA: Introduction to Practice 25

    • This course provides an introduction to the role of the HCA within the British Columbia health care system. Students will be introduced to the healthcare team and the roles and functions of HCA within the team. Students will also have opportunities to develop self-reflective skills required for competent practice.
  • HCA201 Healing 1: Caring for Individual Experiencing Common Health Challenges 125

    • This course introduces students to the normal structure and function of the human body and normal bodily changes associated with aging. Students will explore common challenges to health and healing in relation to each body system. Students will also be encouraged to explore person-centred practice as it relates to the common challenges to health and, in particular, to end-of-life care.
  • HCA202 Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive and Mental Challenges 50

    • This course builds on content from other courses to assist students to explore concepts and care giving approaches that will allow them to work effectively with individuals experiencing cognitive or mental challenges. Emphasis is on recognizing behaviours and identifying person-centered intervention strategies.
  • HCA203 Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance 125

    • This practical course offers students the opportunity to acquire personal care and assistance skills within the parameters of the HCA role. The course is comprised of class and supervised laboratory experiences which assist the student to integrate theory from other courses to develop care-giver skills that maintain and promote the comfort, safety and independence of individuals in community and facility contexts. During this module, students will receive their First Aid, CPR, WHMIS and Food Safe training certification.
  • HCA400 Dementia Care and Complex Care Clinical 200

    • This supervised practice experience provides students with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from all other courses in the program with individuals in a multi-level or complex care setting. A portion of this clinical experience will be devoted to working with individuals experiencing cognitive challenges. Opportunity will be provided for students to gain expertise and confidence with the role of the HCA within a continuing care facility.
  • HCA401 Community Assisted Living Practicum 80

    • This practice course provides students with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from all other courses with individuals and families in a community setting. Opportunity will be provided for students to become more familiar with the role of the HCA within a home support agency and gain abilities that will prepare graduates to assume the role of a community health worker.
  • HCA500 Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • Students will have the opportunity to review and discuss the final practicum placement. Simulated practice may be given in panel interviews as well as practice scenarios for job interviews. Students will update their resumes and cover letters. Students will have use of a Job Search lab which has unlimited Internet access, a job search resource library and a fax machine and phone for contacting prospective employers. Students will obtain the necessary information required to register in the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker registry.

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