Health Care Aide (HCA) courses allow you to enter the health industry and help people who need extra assistance in taking care of themselves. You will learn how to provide care for patients in their homes and at the hospital.
HCA’s are responsible for assisting clients with self-care, which can include bathing, grooming and other personal hygiene activities. You will be feeding patients, and helping them with their medications, as well as, helping them with appropriate exercises. Some patients may need assistance with bed transfers too. You will be keeping a full record of the patient’s condition to report to the nurses, doctors, or other members of their care team. There are other similar roles you will take on as a health care aide to help provide care for patients.
“It can be like a stepping stone for a career in health services,” Kaur says.
There is a high demand for health care aides in the job market, with just Alberta Health Services employing 6800. This is aside from the other companies and facilities that also employ health care aides in Alberta.
Kaur says there is a high demand for HCA’s in various locations, because of the types of care they are able to provide.
“People get sick, they get old, and they always need somebody to help them,” says Kaur.
As a health care aide you’ll have the flexibility to work in different workplace settings providing care for patients. These include hospitals, care homes, private homes and more.
Health care aide courses combined with some relevant work experience hours can now be considered as a prerequisite for LPN courses. This means that you can pursue a higher position easily from this starting position.
You will be caring for individuals who are unable to help themselves, and will see the difference you make in their lives.
The profession is focused on the clients who require various types of support and Kaur says that you become like a family member which can be very rewarding.
“It’s client centered care so it’s very rewarding.”
With HCA courses you can move to different parts of Canada and find employment without re-qualifying. The job tittle can differ depending on the province, and you may need to get some training based on your new location and position.
At the end of your HCA course, you will have a practicum which gives you work experience. This allows you to have industry experience for your career. Graduates often transition into jobs right away.
HCA’s are in a career with a good level of economic stability. The demand is always high for trained individuals, despite what the economy is doing. This means you can look forward to a career without the fear and anxiety of losing your job.
HCA's often get fulfilling and lengthy careers helping many different individuals and families by providing patient care. They build relationships with their clients and help people get through many difficult and challenging times in their lives.