Course Description

Health Care Assistant (HCA)

Our 26 week full-time Health Care Assistant (HCA) Diploma Program includes 20.5 weeks of lecture and 5.5 weeks of practicum. This program equips students with hands-on laboratory skills and lecture knowledge delivered via in-class instructions, as well as real-world clinical experience acquired during the practicum. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to register with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry to become registered Health Care assistants.

Careers such as those of Health Care Assistants’ have come into high demand, as frontline care providers practice primarily with their compassionate hearts to promote the health, safety, independence, comfort, and wellbeing of the aging population. As reliable members of the healthcare team, they aid in the fundamental care of patients under the direction of physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff. In addition, Health Care Assistants are trained to provide person-centered care helping guard the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents who have complex health issues in protective and supportive environments.

Program Length

program duration

*Lecture Length: 20.5 Weeks        Practicum: 5.5 Weeks        Total: 26 Weeks

admissions requirements

English Requirement

Completion of one of the approved English test 

TOEFL iBT a minimum score of 80; IELTS academic a minimum score of 6 

All BC HCA program applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency. Domestic and/or international applicants who are non-native English speakers will need to take a standardized proficiency assessment to confirm communicative competency in all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

Meet English Language Competency Requirements set out by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry:

Course Listing

Students are introduced to the philosophical values and theoretical concepts of being an Heath Care Assistant. The courses focus on caring and person-centred care, basic human needs and human development, family, culture and diversity as they relate to health and healing. Students will be introduced to a problem-solving model that will be critical to their practice.

This course provides an introduction to the role of the HCA within the Province of British Columbia health care system. Students are introduced to the healthcare team and the roles and functions of HCA within the team. There will also be opportunities to develop self-reflective skills.

This course focuses on developing self-awareness, increased understanding of others and effective interpersonal communication skills. Students will be encouraged to become more aware of the impact of their own communication choices and patterns and have the opportunity to develop and use communication techniques to demonstrate personal awareness, respect and active listening.

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 health experiences, recognizing challenges and resources that can affect life choices. Students will be introduced to a model that can be applied to other courses to understand the multi-faceted aspects of health and healing.

This course is an introduction to the normal structure and functions of the human body and changes associated with aging. Students will explore common challenges to health and healing and explore person-centred practices, particularly as they apply to end-of-life care.

Building on other courses related to caregiving, this course allows students to work with individuals experiencing cognitive or mental difficulties. The emphasis in this course is on supporting clients with dementia, recognizing responsive behaviours and identifying person-centred intervention strategies.

This practical course offers students the opportunity to acquire personal care and assistance skills in the role of an HCA. The course is comprised of class and supervised laboratory experiences that assist the student to integrate theory from other courses to develop caregiver skills to maintain and promote the comfort, safety and independence of those in community facilities.

This supervised practice provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a multi-level or complex care setting. A portion of this clinical experience will be devoted to working with individuals experiencing cognitive difficulties. The opportunity will be provided for students to gain expertise and confidence with the role of the HCA within a continuing care family.

This practical course places in a community setting to help the student become more familiar with the role of the HCA within a Home Support Agency and gain abilities to prepare graduates to assume the role of a Community Health Worker.

Start Dates

2021 March 2021 July 2021 August 2021 September 2021 October 2021 November 2021 December
29 19 16 13 & 27 11 8 6

Class Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1:30PM to 6:30PM 1:30PM to 6:30PM 1:30PM to 6:30PM 1:30PM to 6:30PM 1:30PM to 6:30PM

Career Opportunities

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