What you'll learn

The program is based on the Health Care Assistant curriculum set forth by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.

Some seats are available for part-time students. All nine courses must be completed within four years.

HCAP 120 Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice

This course provides students with the opportunity to develop a theoretical framework for practice. Students are 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, culture and diversity as they relate to health and healing. Students are also introduced to a problem-solving model that will be critical to their practice.

Prerequisite: Admission to HCA program
3 CR

HCAP 125 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 will have opportunity to develop and use communication techniques that demonstrate personal awareness, respect and active listening skills.

Prerequisite: Admission to HCA program
2 CR

HCAP 130 Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices

This course introduces students to a holistic concept of health and the components of a health-enhancing lifestyle. 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.

Prerequisite: Admission to HCA program
2 CR

HCAP 135 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 HCA within the team. Students will also have opportunities to develop self-reflective skills required for competent practice and will be introduced to effective job-finding approaches.

Prerequisite: Admission to HCA program
2 CR

HCAP 140 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges

This course introduces 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-centred practice as it is related to the common challenges to health and, in particular, to end-of-life care.

Prerequisites: Passing grade (60%) in any two of HCAP 120, HCAP 125, HCAP 130, HCAP 135; or with instructor’s permission
5 CR

HCAP 145 Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experience Cognitive or Mental Challenges

This course introduces students to challenges in mental or cognitive health. Students will 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-centred interventions strategies. Prerequisites: Passing grade (60%) in any two of HCAP 120, HCAP 125, HCAP 130, HCAP 135; or with instructor’s permission
3 CR

HCAP 150 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 HCA role. The course comprises 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.

Prerequisite: Admission to HCA program
5 CR

HCAP 195 Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living

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 a home support agency and gain abilities that will prepare graduates to assume the role of a community health worker.

Prerequisites: Admission to the HCA program. Students must have maintained a 60% average in all other courses to enter and remain in this course.
2 CR

HCAP 199 Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or 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 or complex care setting. A portion of this clinical experience is devoted to working with individuals experiencing cognitive challenges. Opportunity is provided for students to gain expertise and confidence with the role of the HCA within a continuing care facility. The final three weeks of this course consists of a preceptorship during which the student performs clinical or other professional care-giving procedures in an appropriate health care setting under the immediate supervision of a fully qualified individual.

Prerequisites: Admission to the HCA program. Students must have maintained a 60% average in all other courses to enter and remain in this course.
5 CR

Important Notes

  1. Campus labs and clinical experience include lifting and moving clients with disabilities. It is therefore very important for the student to be in good physical condition.
  2. Students are advised a history of back problems may prevent completion of the course or success in finding and maintaining employment. Students are encouraged to participate in a fitness program while enrolled in the course.
  3. Students are expected to provide their own transportation to various community agencies and long-term care facilities. Approximately 50% of this program is spent gaining practical experience at the above institutions. The schedule varies weekly and can include shifts from 0600 to 1400 and 1500 to 2200, plus numerous shorter appointments.
  4. In addition to disbursements for tuition and textbooks, students are expected to purchase their own uniform and supplies, provide funds for travel to community agencies, pay for parking, and cover the cost of the CPR Level C, Emergency-level first aid and FoodSafe certificates. Specific information regarding the purchase of equipment, clinical attire, textbooks, and other items will be provided during the first week of class.
  5. Students are advised to complete the CPR Level C, Emergency-level first aid and the FoodSafe certificates before the start date of the Health Care Assistant program. If students have not had the opportunity to complete these certificates before the program, they will be required to do so during free time (not class time) and to be responsible for the costs of said certificates. Students are required to have successfully completed these certificates before their clinical experience. The first aid certificate and CPR Level C must also be valid at the time of graduation from the program.
  6. A student who accumulates five days of absence with no communication with the instructors of the program may be terminated from the program, by the Dean, upon the instructor’s recommendation.

Requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, the student must:

  • Obtain a minimum grade of “C” in all graded HCAP courses
  • Complete all clinical practice Health Care Assistant courses with a satisfactory grade
  • Complete all requirements for the Health Care Assistant Certificate within a four year time frame.

Health Care Assistant

  • Credential: Certificate
  • Type: Full
  • Length: 35 weeks
  • Campus: Fort St. James, Mackenzie, Prince George, and Vanderhoof; offered through Quesnel on a rotating basis
  • Fees: $4,353
These fees are an estimate.