Health Care Aide Certificate
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Graduates of our Health Care Aide program can work in a variety of health care environments such as: acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, group homes, assisted living facilities and in the community providing home care.
Health Care Aides may have many different titles such as: Personal Care Attendant, Nursing Assistant, Nurse’s Aide Assistant, Home Health Care Aide. All work with a common goal to providing the highest quality of basic care possible to their clients or residents. Health Care Aides can potentially earn $15 – $21 per hour to start.
You will earn and receive the following certificates:
- Columbia College/Government of Alberta Health Care Aide Certificate
- WHMIS Certificate
- Falls Prevention
- Food Safety
- Goals of Care
- Pet Therapy
- Palliative Care
- Dealing with Conflict
- The Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary Best Friends Approach Certificate
- Medication Administration
- Professional Code of Conduct (Provided at College Convocation or upon request)
Why choose Columbia College’s Health Care Program? We have been preparing students to become Personal Care Attendants and Health Care Aides since 2003. We are known in the industry and have an excellent record of successfully employed graduates.
Columbia College’s Health Care Aide program is licensed through Alberta Government Private Vocational Training Branch and is approved by the Alberta Government Department of Health.
As our society ages, more people will require the support of medical health professionals to look after their personal health needs. Many of these professionals work in the hospitals providing emergency service and medical care to patients. Most of these patients return to active life in the community, but a growing number of Canadians need external support in their homes and longer-term care in specialized facilities. To assist them in adjusting to and coping with their limitations is a group of health care professionals including doctors, nurses, health care aides, and other medical specialists.
Some examples of the care given to patients in all care settings include: assistance with bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, lifting and transferring, taking vital signs such as blood pressure and assisting with psychosocial needs. Health Care Aides must be able to work shifts and weekends, be on their feet for long period of time. They must be in good health as the job requires using your knees, back and arms to move clients who may not have much body strength. You must be able to provide personal care to both men and women. You will be wearing a short-sleeved uniform consisting of a top and bottom pants (called scrubs).
Click Here to see a list of Faculty Members for this course.
Employers of Graduates
The following is a list of organizations that have hired graduates of this program:
- Intercare: Brentwood, Southwood, and Chinook Care Centres
- The Brenda Stafford Trust
- Meadowlark Care Home
- CBI Home Health Services
- McKenzie Towne Care Centre
- The Edgemont
- Calgary Elder Care
- Global Senior Care
- Sagewood Long Term Care
- The Hamlets at Cedarwood Station
- Assisted Living
- Active Alliance
2017 – 2018: 100% Graduation Rate
2017 – 2018: 96% Employment Rate
- Columbia College’s Health Care Aide program follows the Government of Alberta Health Provincial 2013 (most recent) curriculum.
- Full Time (15 weeks)
- 10 weeks of Classroom / Lab Instruction (20 hours/week) (Monday – Thursday) (Daytime classes: 12 pm – 5 pm)
- Supported Tutorials (Friday – 12 pm – 5 pm) and on-line Learning Activities
- 5 weeks of Practicum experience (40 hours/week) (Monday – Friday)
- Practicums will take place primarily Monday to Friday and may include: days and evenings and could potentially include weekends.
Facilitator to Student Ratios:
- Classroom / Lab: 12 Students to 1 Facilitator
- Practicum: 8 Students to 1 Facilitator
Students can apply for admission into the Health Care Aide program through either Standard Admission or through Mature Admission. Please review the two types of admission below to see which type fits your circumstances.
- Be 19 years of age or older
- Out of high school for 1 year
- Successfully meet entry levels on Columbia College’s Accuplacer assessment test or equivalent (See Academic Proficiency Requirements below)
- Alberta high school diploma, verified by transcript, or non-Alberta equivalent
Please note: Students who submit transcripts to meet the English Language Proficiency requirement may still be required to write the Academic Assessment as a result of reviewing their admission file and a formal interview with the Program Manager.
Additional Requirements (for both Standard and Mature Admissions):
- Attend Columbia College’s Health Care Aide Program Orientation prior to the start of the program.
- Admissions interview(s) to determine suitability for the profession and opportunity for success in the program.
- Meet all non-academic requirements.
Academic Proficiency Requirements for HCA
English Proficiency Requirements
English test / program Minimum required score Columbia College’s Required College Prep English course C or better Canadian Language Benchmarks / Milestones Test* 7 in each strand IELTS Academic* 5.5 with minimum band score of 5.0 Columbia College ESL720 level course 80% or greater TOEFL 71 Columbia College Benchmark Testing 7 in each strand Columbia College’s Accuplacer English Test* Satisfactory Pass IQAS – Formal assessment Alberta Education English Language Arts equivalents Alberta Education High School English Course English 10-1 with minimum final mark of 60% or 70% in English 10-2 or equivalent
OR: Successful completion of an Alberta Education English Language Arts course that is consistent with the specified academic admission requirements for the Career Program
OR: Successful completion of three years of full-time secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction
OR: Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of one year of full-time post-secondary education at a school where English was the language of instruction
OR: Transcripts demonstrating successful completion of a post-secondary level English course with a minimum grade of a C (65%) or equivalent
Test/Transcript results are valid for two years from the day of testing or completion of a course. Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program may not be accepted, but will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar. Official results must be submitted.
Transcripts will be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar and the Health Care Aide program to determine whether the courses completed will be accepted to meet the proficiency requirement.
- CPR – Heart and Stroke BLS
- Up-to-date Immunization Record
- N95 Mask Fit Test
Students will be required to travel to various locations in order to complete their clinical and practicum placements. Clinical and practicum placements will be provided as available. Every effort is made to accommodate students in clinical placements within the time frame of the program, however in rare instances there may be a delay in program completion until a clinical placement can be arranged.
Preparing for Clinical Placements
Document Type Description Due Security Clearance According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our clinical sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check (PIC) including Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) Check prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student’s entry into practicum or even the program.
Note: In cases where a PIC or VSS is not clear, the Office of the Registrar will conduct a formal assessment to determine whether the student would be permitted to enter the program.
Information on how to apply for your PIC can be found here.
Evidence that your Police Information Check (PIC) with Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) has been completed or applied for must be provided prior to the start of your program.
Copy of Official PIC and VSS must be received prior to start of first practicum placement.
Course List and Descriptions
For a full list of courses and course descriptions for this program, please click here.
Tutoring is available for students. If you require tutoring, please contact your Program Chair or Coordinator.
Columbia College’s tuition and general fees come into effect August 1 of each year.
For more information about tuition and the Columbia College Tuition chart, please see the Tuition and Fees page.
Refund of Tuition Fees
Please refer to the Student Contract of Tuition form for details of tuition refund policy. This form is available from this program’s Student Admission Advisor.
September 2, 2019
February 10, 2020
May 25, 2020
How to Register
For details on applying or reapplying to this program, please refer to the Admissions page.
To graduate from this program, students must successfully complete all five Health Care Aide courses and achieve an overall program grade point average of 2.7.
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Health Care Aide Directory
- Lectures 1
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Certificate No
- Assessments Self