Health Care Assistant
A career in the healthcare field, offering care and comfort to individuals in long-term care or community settings can be highly rewarding. If you have a desire to provide client-focused assistance to those in need, you may be well-suited for a career as a Health Care Assistant.
With our aging and growing population, Health Care Assistants are in demand. This 27-week program covers the knowledge, skills and abilities you require in order to provide personal care to others. With 12 weeks of supervised practical experience, you will have the opportunity to put the theory you have learned into practice and gain the skills you need to for a successful career.
The HCA program is offered in a blended synchronous/asynchronous format, theory courses are delivered online (synchronously) and laboratory and practical courses are delivered face-to-face; students are required to attend all instructional activities at the scheduled times.
Why Consider a Health Care Assistant Career?
- It can be very rewarding. You can make a difference in the life of someone in need.
- Our aging and growing population means Health Care Assistants will remain in-demand.
- It provides the opportunity to try out the healthcare field before committing to further education in nursing.
- Theory will be delivered online synchronously (scheduled classes daily between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
- Online classes will be delivered via the Microsoft TEAMS platform
- Students require a reliable computer and internet connection
- Students will be expected to attend all scheduled classes regardless of delivery method.
- Nursing labs are delivered face-to-face (f2f). Nursing labs will be scheduled at regional campuses if possible, based upon sufficient student enrolment numbers. Students will be required to travel to Cranbrook campus to attend nursing labs if labs cannot be scheduled at regional campuses.
- Invermere students must travel to Cranbrook for f2f labs, please note approximately 11-15 days of travel will be required in the Fall 2023 semester (September – December)
- Practicums are f2f. Practicums will be scheduled at regional communities if possible if requested by a student. Students may be required to travel to Cranbrook to attend program practicum if practicum cannot be scheduled in regional communities.
Graduates can acquire the skills and knowledge to:
- Integrate a caring philosophy
- Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills
- Provide holistic care
- Apply ethical and professional standards of behaviour
- Promote independence
- Perform basic care giving skills
- Cope with simple emergency situations
- Provide environmental safety and home management
- Integrate health promotion strategies
Semester 1 addresses the theoretical foundations for care with practical applications in the lab and/or residential settings. Students must achieve a minimum grade of 70% in all theory courses to continue into Semester 2.
Semester 2 offers supervised clinical placements.
To receive the HCA certificate the student must achieve a minimum of 70% on all theory courses and a pass grade on all clinical evaluations.
Health Care Assistant Certificate Requirements:
|Health & Healing: Concepts for Practice
|Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
|Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
|Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
|Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
|Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges
|Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance
|Practice Education Experience in Home Support,
Assisted Living and/or Group Homes
|Practice Experience in Multi-Level/Complex Care
Total Credits Fall and Winter semesters: 35
Year 1 – Semester 1 – Fall
HCA-101 – Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice
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-centered care; basic human needs and human development; family, 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.
HCA-102 – Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
This course provides an introduction to the role of the HCA within the British Columbia health care system. Students are introduced to the health care team and the roles and functions of the HCA within the team. Students also have opportunities to develop self-reflective skills required for competent practice and will be introduced to effective job-finding approaches.
HCA-103 – Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
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 are encouraged to become more aware of the impact of their own communication choices and patterns. They have the opportunity to develop and use communication techniques that demonstrate personal awareness, respect, and active listening skills.
HCA-104 – Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
This course introduces students to a holistic concept of health and the components of health-enhancing lifestyles. Students are invited to reflect on their own experience of health, recognizing challenges and resources that can impact lifestyle choices. Students are introduced to a model that can be applied in other courses to understand the multi-faceted aspects of health and healing.
HCA-105 – Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
This course introduces the students to the normal structure and function of the human body and normal bodily changes associated with aging. Students explore common challenges to health and healing in relation to each body system. Students are also encouraged to explore person-centered practice as it relates to the common challenges to health and, in particular, to end-of-life care
HCA-106 – Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges
This course builds on content from other courses to assist students to explore concepts and care giving approaches that allow the student to work effectively with individuals experiencing cognitive or mental challenges. The emphasis in this course is on supporting clients with dementia, recognizing responsive behaviors and identifying person-centered intervention strategies.
HCA-107 – Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance
This practical course offers students the opportunity to acquire personal care and assistance skills within the parameters of the Health Care Assistant role. The course is comprised of class and supervised laboratory experiences. The aim of this course is to assist 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.
Year 1 – Semester 2 – Winter
HCA-108 – Practice Education Experience in Home Support, Assisted Living and/or Group Homes
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 is provided for students to become more familiar with the role of the HCA within the Home Support Agency, Assisted Living Facility and/or a Group Home, and to gain abilities that prepare graduates for employment in these settings. It is important that students understand the philosophy of community care settings and its emphasis on client choice and independence.
HCA-109 – Practice Education Experience in Multi-Level/Complex Care
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/complex care setting. A portion of this clinical experience is devoted to working with individuals with dementia. Opportunity is provided for students to gain expertise and confidence with the role of the HCA within the Long Term Care Facility.
- Grade 10 or Adult Basic Education Intermediate Level Certificate or equivalent
- Minimum 60% in either English 10, English First Peoples 10, Composition 10 and Spoken Language 10, English First Peoples Writing 10 and English First Peoples Spoken Language 10, ENGL 070, or English Assessment
- Minimum 60% in either Math 10, Foundations of Math 10 and Pre-Calculus 10, MATH 070, or Math Assessment
English Language Proficiency Requirements
- Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to take a standardized proficiency assessment per BC Health Care Assistant (HCA) Programs English Language Competency Requirements
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange this assessment through Student Services or an Education Advisor at the College
- Core Competency Profile Declaration
- Complete a criminal record check through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Criminal Records Review Program*
- English Competency Self-Declaration
- Notice of Collection, Use and Disclosure Agreement
Thank you for your interest in applying to be a student in one of our Health and Human Services programs at the College of the Rockies. As a successful applicant, you will receive or have received a request to provide documentation confirming you are current in immunizations and First Aid/CPR.
Immunization services in BC are in flux as Public Health Departments must regularly reprioritize resource distribution. Public Health agencies will do their best to accommodate College of the Rockies student immunizations by individual appointment. Immunizations are also available through local pharmacists and Travel Clinics. We recommend that students continue to pursue obtaining required immunizations to complete program admission and practicum placement requirements as soon as available.
It is the responsibility of the student to continue to actively seek to obtain and complete these requirements.
Obtaining and completing these admission requirements can be more difficult, your admission into the Health and Human Services programs will not be held up while you wait to complete these requirements.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter
In accordance with provincial/territorial public health authorities, in-person training options are now available in certain jurisdictions. Red Cross Training Partners will adopt safe classroom protocols to promote the safety of all participants. Please check for blended delivery options as well to support your training needs. College of the Rockies accepts blended format CPR certifications (online theory supported by face-to-face practical application), but does not accept certifications obtained exclusively online. Students are expected to continue to seek CPR recertification, as courses come available, and to update their certification as soon as possible.
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C or a higher level of CPR certification, current for the duration of the program. Certificate must indicate the level of CPR and when it expires. Acceptable CPR courses must include a face-to-face component and may be combined with a first aid course. Please check with the course provider prior to enroling, and ensure that the course is CPR Level C. CPR Level A and Level B are not accepted.
- One of the following first aid certifications:
|St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid
|Workplace Emergency First Aid
|St. John Ambulance Emergency First Aid
|Red Cross Standard First Aid
|Lifesaving Society Emergency First Aid
|Emergency Medical Responder
|Lifesaving Standard First Aid
|Primary Care Paramedic
|Occupational First Aid Level 1, 2 or 3
|Advanced Care Paramedic
|Red Cross Emergency First Aid BC
|Critical Care Paramedic
- Foodsafe Level 1 certificate
- BCCDC Immunizations for BC Health Care Workers
- Annual influenza immunization
- COVID-19 vaccination
- Negative TB testing results. Must be completed no earlier than 8 months before beginning of the HCA Program
- Computer literacy is recommended
*Practicum based learning is an essential component of this program. A criminal record may reduce an applicant’s access to the program and/or to required practicum opportunities. Applicants disclosing a criminal record are guided to explore other options. Depending on the nature of the offence, options may include applying for a pardon. Any associated cost is the responsibility of the student.
Tuition and Fees for Domestic Students:
For the 2023/24 academic year (2023/SU, 2023/FA, 2024/WI, 2024/SP)
|Student Association Fee:
|Health and Dental Fee:
*These prices are for domestic students and may not be 100% accurate. However, these estimates will give you an adequate idea of tuition and fees for our programs. These prices do not include textbook costs. All prices are subject to change. Tuition fees include an alumni fee, student activity fees, and a student technology fee. In certain cases a materials and supply fee may also be included. For more information, visit: Tuition and Fees.
- A list of texts and supplies is provided at the beginning of the program.
- Students may be required to travel for clinical placements and are responsible for their transportation.
- April 22 – November 8, 2024
- Sept 3, 2024 – March 28, 2025
Health & Human Services
Care for Others, Get in, Get out, Get a Job, Not Have a Desk Job, Start or Run Your Own Business
301 – 16th Avenue
PO Box 1978, Creston, BC, V0B 1G0
342 – 3rd Avenue
PO Box 1770, Fernie, BC, V0B 1M0
1305 South 9th Street
PO Box 376, Golden, BC, V0A 1H0
RR #4, #2 – 1535 – 14th Street
Invermere, BC, V0A 1K4