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Career In-Demand: Why Become A Certified Health Care Aide?

W

ith an aging boomer population, the increase in demand of home care services, nursing homes or long-term care facilities foresee the inevitable rise of certified Health Care Aides (HCAs).

In Canada, new job openings for occupations in support of health services is expected to total at 178,700 by 2028, while 182,700 job candidates are expected to be available to apply. 

Regardless of grade 10 being the minimum educational requirement for HCAs, certification is necessary not only to prepare aspiring HCAs for the role, but also to advance in an increasingly competitive job market. 

This articles discusses everything you need to know about the benefits of the Health Care Aide Certificate program:  

  • Defining the role: What is a Health Care Aide?
  • Benefits: What it means to gain certification?
  • Growing Impact: What does a Health Care Aide really do?

Defining The Role: What Is A Health Care Aide?

HCAs provide clients who are ill, senile or disabled with direct care, in the form of personal assistance, emotional support and basic medical care. Some examples of a HCA’s daily responsibilities include:

  • Bathing, grooming and dressing clients
  • Feeding and assisting clients with bed transfers
  • Assisting clients with their day-to-day exercises
  • Providing wound care, respiratory equipment use or urinary care
  • Assisting with their medication intake
  • Communicating the patient’s progress to their nurses or doctors 

HCAs can work in different high-pressure environments like hospitals and long-term care facilities, or in more relaxed spaces like the homes of their clients. 

Benefits: What It Means To Gain Certification?

To be employable as an HCA in the top nursing homes or government care facilities, you will need to have certification to back up your knowledge and skill-sets. Certification allows you to be ahead of the competition and be recognized as a professional in the field. 

Becoming a certified HCA requires you to have a deeper understanding of the human anatomy, medical terminology, chronic conditions, palliative care and more. Here are some key areas to a Health Care Aide Certificate program: 

  • The Human Body, Health & Chronic Illness: Study the systems that make up the human body and learn about the milestones of growth and development across a lifespan. 
  • Communication & Documentation: HCAs are active members of medical care teams. They provide accurate information and observations to doctors and nurses, which in turn can better how a client receives care. You will study how to effectively communicate and document the status of a client’s health over time. 
  • Meeting Complex Care Needs: Confidently assist your clients with their medications and advance your knowledge of health care.  
  • Business Communication: Explore the role of communication in a professional work environment. Learn about workplace culture, interpersonal and team communication, professional presentations, research, business theory, professional writing and the use of technology in the medical field. Knowledge of these areas can help you grow as an HCA and can help you become a more adept leader or manager in the field. 
  • Person-Centered Care for Clients of Various Health Conditions: Learn foundational care skills and strategies for assisting diverse clients, like those with a mental health diagnosis, developmental delays or physical disabilities, to name a few. 
  • Multiple Clinical Placements: Certificate programs that provide multiple clinical placement opportunities are your best options, as health care organizations highly value diverse professional experiences in addition to formal education. Each placement should give you an inside look at the day-to-day responsibilities of an HCA in the different work environments that need your assistance like home care, senior lodges, group homes and more. Clinical placements also require you to work closely with a regulated health-care professional to ease your transition from the classroom to care facilities. 

Growing Impact: What Does A Health Care Aide Really Do?

Dr. Markus Thiel has been a healthcare provider for decades, having worked in spinal cord, cardiac, burns and neurological intensive care units, emergency and trauma centres and, recently, as a chiropractic doctor.

As a columnist for the Kelowna Capital News, he wrote that if there was one thing he could separate with patients who get better from those who do not, it was their “attitude.” 

“I rarely have ever had a patient be utterly surprised by the outcome of their care. If they feel they will never get better, they usually don’t. If they feel, truly believe that they will get better, they more often than not do get better.”

It is that winning attitude HCAs can impart on their clients, as they usually spend the most time caring for their patients. Think back to every time you had to work in other collaborative environments, whether it be in school or at work. How much of your experience was affected by the people around you? How many times did you feel comfortable around a group of people? And, how many times did you experience the opposite?

How you treat others matters. HCAs have the opportunity to provide more than physical care for their clients, but the emotional support they need to live fully regardless of their circumstances.  

Fast-track your career in healthcare to be one of many HCAs who are doing a remarkable job in keeping us safe


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