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Health Care Assistant: Introduction Into Practice

This course provides an introduction to the role of the HCA within the British Columbia health care system. Learners will be introduced to the healthcare team and the roles and functions of HCA within the team. Learners will also have opportunities to develop self-reflective skills required for competent practice and will be introduced to effective job-finding approaches and the development of an effective employment package. In addition, learners will be trained in the provincial Do Bugs Need Drugs program to promote appropriate knowledge and skill in hand washing techniques and basic infection control. Learners will be introduced to, and participate in lab practice as scheduled, in a variety of basic skills related to; job search, communication, hand washing and basic infection control. This curriculum is modelled after the Health Care Assistant Program – Provincial Curriculum.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, learners will:

Display an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of HCAs within the health care system in British Columbia:


  • Describe the Health Care Systems in British Columbia and Canada
  • Describe the processes by which individuals in British Columbia become eligible for long term care
  • Discuss the goals, philosophy, and approaches used in assisted living facilities and how these might also be applied in other contexts
  • Describe the purpose and functions of employer standards, policies and procedures
  • Discuss the importance of maintaining client and family confidentiality
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of HCAs within the health care team
  • Describe the role of labour unions in healthcare in relation to membership, responsibilities, and implications for the HCAs
  • Describe the role and mandate of bodies with oversight of HCAs in BC


Contribute to the effective functioning of the healthcare team:


  • Discuss basic concepts of team development and group processes.
  • Outline the benefits & challenges of working in a team, including diversity within the team
  • Describe the principles of collaboration and cooperation that contribute to effective team functioning
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of various members of the healthcare team
  • Discuss lines of communication

Function in a responsible, accountable fashion recognizing legal and ethical parameters of the HCA role:


  • Discuss human rights as they relate to the provider and the recipient of care
  • Discuss elements of responsible and accountable behaviour
  • Delineate the legal and contractual limitations and obligations of HCAs
  • Delineate the legal implications of the written word
  • Discuss how to recognize ethical issues in practice and methods for resolving such issues
  • Discuss appropriate responses when a situation exceeds legal or employer-defined parameters of one’s role
  • Describe what is meant by professional boundaries in relation to relationships with clients/residents and families

Apply self-reflection and self-appraisal processes in order to recognize and respond to own self-development needs as a care provider:


  • Discuss reflective practices: What it is, why it is important, how to become a reflective care provider
  • Discuss how the personal competence of the care provider is a component of caring practice
  • Describe how self-assessment relates to self-development
  • Discuss the importance of lifelong learning for all care providers

Confidently conduct a job-search process:


  • Describe the challenges and rewards of specific work environments
  • Discuss criteria for selecting a work environment that fits one’s strengths, values, preferences and lifestyle

Identify the components of applying for a job:


  • Preparing a clear, attractive resume and letter of application
  • Completing a job application form
  • Effectively participating in a job interview
  • Finding resources to support the process of applying for a job
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Provincial Funding

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