Health Care Assistant (HCA) program

According to the Statistics Canada, more than 6.5 million people in Canada are over the age of 65 years old, and millions of Canadians residents live with conditions that make them more vulnerable to illness such as Covid-19. ( Statistic Canada, n.a.)

As a result, Canada is in great demand for skilled healthcare workers such as health care assistants, practical nurses, registered nurses and in-home assistants. On average, a Canadian Health Care Assistant (HCA) earns about $24 per hour (which is considered as a medium to high salary job in the province of British Columbia). Additionally, Canada is an immigration friendly country, it welcomes international workers with health care backgrounds.

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Would you be interested to be a health care assistant in Canada? How do you know you are a good candidate for the health care assistant program?

This blog post will tell you what are the qualifications needed to be a HCA, and how an HCA is different from a practical nurse. You will need about 5 minutes to read this blog.

Part A: Am I a good fit for the HAC program? 

Here are some healthcare assistant’s qualifications:

  • Passionate about making a difference in the life of a senior
  • Passionate for delivering happier ageing and client-focused care in-home and community setting
  • Patient and Compassionate at assisting elders with daily (repetitive) living
  • A good communicator with strong verbal skills, someone who can make elders happy

Part B: The Academic course for the HCA program

Attending a health-care focused educational institution would help you to gain both the theoretical and practical experience. In Canada, the Health Care Assistant Diploma Program is usually within 6 months courseload (including a 5.5-week internship).

Theoretical Knowledge:

Students in the Diploma/Certificate in Health Care Assistant would learn the care that can promote the physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being of people with diverse needs.

You may find the Health Care Assistant (HCA) program description here: https://createcareercollege.com/course/health-care-assistant-diploma/

Practicum:

Employers prefer candidates with relevant work experience and they love to hire back their outstanding interns. In the province of British Columbia, students in the health care assistant program would have a 5-8 week of practicum in local senior centres. It is designed for prospective students to practice their learned healthcare skills and build connections with employers & elders.

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Part C: How is a Health Care Assistant different from a Practical Nurse?

Health Care Assistant

Although healthcare assistants are neither nurses or doctors, they provide direct care, personal assistance, and support to patients who are ill, elderly, or disabled.

Work Location: Residential care centre, Elder’s home, elder daycare centre, work in-home

Duty: Needs focused Personal Assistance, for example: changing the bedsheets, dressing, feeding, checking the physical condition (blood pressure, temperature, vision)

Education: The HCA program is shorter (the program is usually within 6 months) and more general than the practical nurse program. It is ideal for those who want to get from education to the workplace as soon as possible.

Practical Nurse

Practical Nurses work alongside doctors, physicians, registered nurses in a hospital with patients.

Work Location: Hospital, Clinic

Duty: Cased focused medical assistance such as wound care, injection

Education: The Practical nurse program is a two-year diploma program and the student needs to take a national licensing exam to become a registered nurse.

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