Health Care Aide Program FAQs

Find answers below to common questions about our health care aide program.

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To find answers to common questions about the health care aid program at MaKami College, click on each question below. Find more information about the program, how to become a health care aide and more.

Health Care Aide Program Overview

What is Health Care Aide Certification?

A Health Care Aide Certification is the official industry standard to show the student has completed in-class and practicum training and demonstrated top skills to work in home care and clinical health care settings.

Why is the demand for Health Care Aide professionals growing?

The rising demand for Health Care Aide professionals in Alberta is one of the outcomes of our aging population. Health Care Aides are unregulated health care workers who provide personal support and basic health services directly to Albertans, primarily in the continuing care sector but also in the acute care facilities. HCAs are the largest occupational group in the continuing care sector.

Is there a final exam?

There is a Provincial HCA Exam that you need to successfully pass, once you have completed all of your theory, lab and clinical placement components.

Is this an industry-certified course?

Yes, by completing the Health Care Aide Course at MaKami College and passing the provincial exam, you will be an industry-certified professional.

Where are the Health Care Aide programs recognized?

Our MaKami College Health Care Aide Program will make you a certified professional that is recognized Alberta-wide.

What’s the difference between home health care and home care?

Home health care allows you to work in clinical settings and non-clinical settings whereas home care only allows you to work in non-clinical settings. This program trains and qualifies you for both types of work.

Is the Health Care Aide course hard?

As with any program, keeping up with your lessons is important. At MaKami, students get plenty of support from knowledgeable staff, free extra resources, one-on-one attention within our student success centre to ensure that there is complete support from day 1 of the course.

Availability & Accessibility

English is my second language (ESL)

All MaKami College students have access to free English courses and if required, multilingual student advisors and tutors are also available at both MaKami campuses. Read more about our ESL programs.

When are classes taught?

We have classes during the day, evenings and on weekends. To learn more about the Health Care Aide Program, we highly recommend attending one of our student tours.

How much practical training do I get?

The new 2019 Government of Alberta program contains 3 clinical placements that total 360 hours of the program.

The first 2 placements are instructor led experiences with employers where you can learn to effectively apply your classroom and lab training.

The third clinical placement is an opportunity for students to work alongside another HCA and get immediate feedback on the skills you need to succeed as a Health Care Aide.

Who are the teachers?

You will be taught by experienced and knowledgeable staff who have worked as a licensed nurse (RN, LPN, RPN, NP) in the province of Alberta.

Eligibility and Admissions

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for entry into a licensed HCA program, as outlined by Alberta Health Services (AHS).

Academic English Language Arts (ELA)
  • Grade 11, 20-2 level course, with a minimum score of 60% achieved or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; or
  • English 20-1 with a minimum of 60% achieved or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; or
  • English 30-1 or 30-2 with a minimum of 55% or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; or
  • Deemed equivalent by completion of ACCUPLACER (assessment placement test)

Note: Students who have not completed the ELA, 20-2 level requirement and achieved the minimum grade are subject to completing the ACCUPLACER assessment test. This can include students out of province, out of country or mature students that have been out of school for a significant length of time.

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

Candidates where English is a Second Language (ESL) must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement in addition to the Academic English requirement. Equivalencies are as follows:

Required Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of a minimum of 7 in each of the 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and not an average of 7; OR

By completing high school in Canada. Studies must have been in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least three consecutive years of full-time academic study; OR

By completing a recognized post-secondary degree or diploma program in Canada. The program must have involved at least two full years of full-time, consecutive academic study in English.

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests

Tests benchmarked at a CLB 7 for all 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing). Official results must be submitted directly to the PSI.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6 (no section score below 5.5);

Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Testing (TOEFL iBT): 71;

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General: 7 (with no section score below 6); and

Canadian Language Benchmarks/Milestones Test (7 in each strand, not an average of

Duolingo score of 95

Notes

  • Test Currency: results must have been obtained within two years of the start date of the program.
  • Test Validity: IELTS (Academic) and TOEFL results are valid for two years from the day of testing. Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program will not be accepted.
Digital literacy

Candidates must possess knowledge of computer/technology tools to be successful in the program.

Candidates must:

  • Be able to communicate, research and understand information
  • Know how to use computer to surf web, email
  • Be able to critically evaluate and understand how technology can affect one’s behavior
  • Be able to create, produce content and effectively communicate using email, media, internet
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

MaKami College gives professionals in the Health Care Aide industry the opportunity to get certification through our HCA program. We work with Health Care professionals to assess their knowledge and skills and complement them with the ones offered in our program to ensure success at MaKami as well as in their career.

All applicants looking to use the PLAR methods will be provided with a PLAR Student Guide that explains PLAR and the Alberta HCA PLAR process. Please contact the HCA Department for a copy of the PLAR Student Guide, and more information on the PLAR policies as well the associated application and processing fees.

Health Care Aide Curriculum

MaKami College’s Health Care Aide Program offers a cutting-edge iPad-based curriculum using the newest curriculum available from the Government of Alberta. The program is offered in a blended format, with theory completed online and practical labs and clinical placements completed in-person.

View the full Health Care Aide Program curriculum here. 

Clinical Placements

The new 2019 Government of Alberta program contains 3 clinical placements that total 360 hours of the program. The first two placements are instructor-led experience with employers where you can learn to effectively apply your classroom and lab training. The third clinical placement is an opportunity for students to work alongside another HCA and get immediate feedback on the skills you need to succeed as a Health Care Aide.

Clinical Placement I

During this clinical placement experience, students will experience the role of the HCA by working under the direction of a regulated health care professional (e.g. LPN, RN, RPN). Students will have the opportunity to work in a continuing care setting such as supportive living (designated supportive living or DSL), senior lodges, long term care, and group homes.

Students will integrate and implement the knowledge they have learned in courses 1–4 in the clinical setting. Students will provide client care that is safe, ethical, and respectful based on the needs of the client. Care that meets these standards is known as person-centred care.

Clinical Placement II

During the second clinical placement experience, students will experience the role of the HCA by working under the direction of a regulated health-care professional (e.g. LPN, RN, RPN). Students will have the opportunity to work in a variety of health care settings such as continuing care or acute care.

Students will integrate and implement the knowledge they have learned in all the courses 1-7 in the clinical setting. Students will provide person-centred care and support for clients and their families; that care is safe, ethical, and respectful.

Clinical Placement III

This is the final clinical placement course, where students will practise the role of the HCA. Students will be working under the supervision of a regulated health care professional (e.g. LPN, RN, RPN) and buddied with an HCA. Students will work in a variety of health care settings, such as continuing care or acute care.

Students will integrate and implement the knowledge they have learned throughout the HCA Program, which will guide them in providing person-centred care and support for clients and their families; that care is safe, ethical, and respectful.

If you have additional questions about MaKami’s health care aide program, please talk to one of our advisors.

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