Health Care Assistant
(Formerly Resident Care Attendant and Home Support)
Have a caring and compassionate attitude? Strong emotional resolve? Great patience? A sense of professionalism? Consider a career as a Health Care Assistant (HCA).
Graduates of our Health Care Assistant Certificate Program are prepared to work in Extended and Intermediate Care Facilities, Home Support Agencies, Adult Day Care Centers, and Assisted Living residences. While the majority of program graduates provide care for seniors, our program prepares you to care for adults with a wide variety of chronic health conditions.
To meet the needs of our aging population, health regions across BC are opening thousands of new residential and assisted living units; the staffing needs for Health Care Assistants have never been greater. This is an excellent time to consider training and employment in this rewarding field as opportunities abound!
The Stenberg College Health Care Assistant Program meets and exceeds the Provincial Health Care Assistant Curriculum (2008) with well over a hundred additional program hours. Allowing students more in-depth instruction in the areas of dementia care, palliative care and medication management. Additional clinical hours and simulation labs support students to perfect their skills.
Here's more information about this important career choice...
The Stenberg College Health Care Assistant Program prepares graduates to:
Typical Job Duties
As a Health Care Assistant, you'll be working with elderly people who will depend on you for quality daily care, encouragement, and support. Your challenge will be to foster and maintain the client's independence and trust. You will be looking after people who have diminished abilities for self-care. Their friends and families must feel that they can trust you to look after their loved ones.
Workplaces include care facilities, hospices, and even seniors' private homes. You'll need to develop skills in offering personal care, assisting with mobility, understanding basic anatomy and physiology, developing good communication skills, and caring for a person with dementia.
Working with the elderly may also involve palliative care, which emphasizes easing the person's pain, enhancing their quality of life, and supporting their family.
While working in a care home, you will need to follow instructions from directors of care, registered nurses, and staff. You'll also be required to make observations and to note problems. Listening and communicating with healthcare professionals and residents are key abilities.
As a Health Care Assistant, you could find employment in a:
Wages and Career Outlook
Based on employment statistics gathered by Stenberg College, the wage range of students who completed the Health Care Assistant program and are working in their field of study is $17 to $21 per hour.
The related national occupation classification numbers – a system used to group jobs – is "3413”. Please realize that these figures are based on groupings of a large number of related jobs. Wages and career outlook may differ due to education level, job location, and type of employer.
The following list shows some other sources for career research. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but it is a place to start:
Is This Program for You?
It is if you:
Program Admission Requirements
Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, students will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:
Please note: A valid driver's license and access to personal transport is recommended for HCA190: Home Support / Assisted Living Practicum. Students who are not able to provide their own transport may have difficulty meeting the requirements of this component.
NB: Additional criteria may be required to fulfill industry guidelines; students will be informed in advance of any requirements that need to be fulfilled for placements
Duration and Financing
Program Length: 30 weeks
Program Hours: 865 hours including 276 hours of applied practice experiences
Financing: You could be eligible for ELMS funding, government student loans and other financing options; the Stenberg College Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance. Stenberg College is one of the top health assistant schools in BC.