The program begins with a set of theory courses providing foundational knowledge for HCAs. There is a hands-on course to learn the physical skills of practical assistance with bathing, dressing, grooming mobility, elimination of urine and stool, eating and other daily life tasks. .
Clinical practice experiences occur outside of the college setting. You will have two clinical courses in multi-level/complex care agencies, where you will work together with your instructor and classmates and develop your skills in providing care and assistance to clients in a respectful, safe, competent and organized manner. You will also have a practice experience with the opportunity to support the health needs of a variety of clients in community care. You will work with a HCA in a community setting such as home support services, assisted living residences, group homes or adult day programs.
Practice experiences may be scheduled during the day or evening and may include weekends and holidays. The majority of practice placements are in centers close to NIC campus communities. You must arrange your own transportation and assume related costs.
Throughout the program you will be expected to demonstrate responsibility for your own learning, respect for others, and qualities that are required to be effective in the workplace, such as reliability and punctuality.
The HCA Program follows the Provincial Curriculum HCA Curriculum.
Upon graduation, you will qualify for registration with BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. You will be able to competently carry out the roles and responsibilities of a health care assistant in the community or in care facilities; a role that is in high demand across the health sector.
Transfer Credit & Credit For Prior Learning
Your previous life, work, or study experience, unassociated with formal education, may qualify for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Your knowledge and skills will be evaluated to determine if you meet the objectives for selected courses up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the program. To qualify for PLAR, you must apply to the program, meet all the program requirements, and complete the PLAR before entering the program or one term before the scheduled course(s). The fee for each PLAR course is 75 per cent of the regular course fee. Refer to NIC policy #4-10: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.
When an applicant meets some, but not all, learning objectives in a course(s), the assessment process may result in an exemption from some portion of the course(s). You will be required to register in the course and pay full tuition but your workload would be reduced. Note that eligibility for this process will be granted on an individual basis by the department. You must apply one semester in advance of the course start date.
For information about which courses qualify for PLAR please contact the department chair in your program.
To Be Successful
- Basic computer literacy and internet access are necessary. Visit NIC’s Learn Anywhere site for digital learning support resources. You must access all course resources online. Electronic documentation is also used in the practice setting. You are expected to have the ability to:
- navigate the internet and access online resources
- create word documents,
- attach word documents to emails and submit assignments via email or through the NIC learning management system.
- Participate in videoconferences
- A valid driver’s license and access to personal transport is strongly recommended for the Practice Experience courses, especially HCA-145, the Community Care Practice Experience Practicum, If you are not able to provide your own transport, you may have difficulty meeting the requirements of these clinical practice courses.
- It is an expectation of the Health Care Assistant program that you demonstrate responsible, accountable behaviour in terms of maintaining a pattern of regular attendance and establishing effective working relationships with student colleagues and faculty. You are required to adhere to all college policies and regulations.