Acute Care Aide Program

This full-time diploma program prepares you to work as an Acute Care Aide in a variety of health care settings, both public & private, including home support, assisted living, residential/complex care, special care units, other home and community care settings and acute care. This comprehensive program includes classroom hours, home study hours, community and facility clinical placements, a 600 hour monitored Cooperative work program and a final practicum.

The Acute Care Program includes 1510 hours of training delivered over 64 weeks. It has three components:

  1. Health Care Assistant Certification (790 hours)
  2. Health Care Assistant Co-op Work Experience
  3. Acute Care Skills for Health Care Aides Certification

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64 Weeks

Course Hours:
8:00AM - 3:30PM

Pacific Coast Community College


$16,008 (Financing Eligible)

Interested in this program?


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Acute Care Program, you will be able to:

  • Provide person-centred care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual resident or client.
  • Use an informed problem solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of clients and families.
  • Provide care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges.
  • Provide care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges.
  • Interact with other members of the health care team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Communicate clearly, accurately and in sensitive ways with clients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts.
  • Provide personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner.
  • Recognize and respond to own self-development, learning and health enhancement needs.
  • Perform the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable and professional manner.
  • Apply the theory, skills and attitudes expected of a care provider.
  • Know the role of the HCA in the Acute Care Setting and discuss comparisons with that of the HCA in the residential or community care settings.

Individual components may include additional specific outcomes.

Component 1 - Health Care Assistant Certification

790 hours of training delivered over 31 weeks (28 weeks of classroom/clinical practice and 3 weeks of preceptored work experience).

This component of the Acute Care Aide Program is the full Health Care Assistant Program offered by Pacific Coast Community College.


Program Content

  • HCA200 – Introduction To Practice
  • HCA100 – Concepts For Practice
  • HCA300 – Health I: Interpersonal Communication
  • HCA400 – Health II: Lifestyle and Choices
  • HCA500 – Healing I: Common Health Challenges
  • HCA600 – Healing II: Cognitive/Mental Challenges
  • HCA700 – Healing III: Personal Care and Assistance
  • HCA800 – Practice Experience in Multi-level and/or complex care
  • HCA900 – Practice Experience in Community



  • Developmental Disabilities Child Care observation.
  • Community Based clinical experience (home support, assisted living and/or group home).
  • Clinical experience (continuing care/multi-level/complex care settings).
  • Final Practicum/ Preceptorship (continuing care/multilevel/ complex care settings).


Additional Certificate Courses:

  • CPR Level C
  • First Aid
  • FoodSafe
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (NVCI)


Delivery Methods:

Training is delivered through classroom lectures, practice labs, reading assignments, audiovisual materials and on-site training.


Health Care Assistant Certification Evaluation:

  • Theory/Laboratory Practice = 60% (inclusive of quizzes, assignments, final course examinations, class participation and laboratory skills evaluations)
  • Clinical Practicum Evaluation = 40%
  • Community-based Practicum = P/F
  • Final Practicum (Preceptorship) = P/F


Grading System:

Your achievement will be evaluated on an ongoing basis using a numeric percentage system. The minimum passing mark is 80% for each unit before progressing to the next unit.


Learning Resources:

Sorrentino, Sheila, A. (2013). Mosby’s Canadian Textbook for the Support Worker. 3rd Ed. Toronto: Elsevier Canada; With Accompanying Workbook.

The Pacific Coast Community College module.

Component 2 - Health Care Assistant Co-op Work Experience

600 hours over 23 weeks

This monitored work experience provides you with real-life exposure to workplace settings. There is extended opportunity for you to practice and become confident with the skills learned in Component 1 - Health Care Assistant Certification.

You learn to communicate with clients, families, and other health care team members. Through Component 2 you gain the requisite hours and industry reference required to progress into Component 3 - Acute Care Skills.

During your co-op experience you work as a Health Care Assistant supporting a resident care facility team. A Pacific Coast Community College instructor will be accessible throughout your program and will be present during your monthly performance assessments with your host/employer facility.

You are directly supervised by the department supervisor of your host work facility.


Delivery Methods:

Training is delivered through real-life intensive practice of HCA skills in a recognized extended care community setting (arranged by PCCC) with regular ongoing feedback.


Student Evaluation:

Using the PCCC Health Care Assistant Work evaluation template, your facility-designated unit supervisor will evaluate you on a monthly basis though out your program. Pacific Coast Community College will maintain communication with the site and your supervisor for ongoing feedback.


Grading System:

You are required to achieve consistent satisfactory evaluations over the period of the co-op module, by the direct supervisor at your host facility.


Student Responsibility:

You are required to follow Pacific Coast Community College's policies at all times regarding professionalism, dress code, punctuality, and conduct. You will assume all of the responsibilities of a Health Care Assistant as outlined by your Work-Experience employer and as taught in the PCCC Health Care Assistant Program.


Learning Resources:

The PCCC clinical module and facility supervisor mentorship.

Component 3 - Acute Care Skills for Health Care Assistants

120 hours over 8 weeks consisting of 10 class days and a 2-week (8 days/48 hours) full-time instructor-led clinical practicum in an acute care setting.

You will gain the additional knowledge and skills necessary to work in a hospital acute-care environment, working with patients/clients who are acutely ill but stable.

This program builds on the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in Component 1 - Health Care Assistant Certification. You increase your awareness of changes in health status, treatments and interventions, and the process of, and skills required in, the delegation of tasks. Clinical practice in a hospital acute-care setting will provide you with opportunity to become more comfortable and confident working in a health care environment that is dynamic, and fast-paced.

There are two units in the acute care skills certificate program:

  1. Unit A - Acute Care Theory
  2. Unit B - Acute Care Clinical Practice.


Unit A - Acute Care Theory:

  • The Acute Care Setting
  • Body Systems and Dysfunctions
  • Care for the Client with Diabetes Certification
  • Delegation of Tasks
  • Medication Administration Certification
  • The Surgical Patient
  • Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions
  • Laboratory Case Scenarios and Skills Evaluation


Unit B - Acute Care Clinical Practice:

This is a full-time clinical practicum under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor (Registered Nurse) in groups no larger than six students.


Delivery Methods:

Your training for Unit A will be by class lecture, practice lab, and audiovisual materials. For Unit B training will be on-site.


Weight of Unit Evaluation:

  • Unit A - Acute Care Theory: 70%
  • Unit B - Acute Care Theory Unit B: 30%

*You must complete and pass Unit A and a Final Exam before proceeding to Unit B of the program.


Grading System:

Your achievement will be evaluated on an ongoing basis using a numeric percentage system. The minimum passing mark is 80% for each unit before progressing to the next unit.


Student Responsibilities:

You are required to abide by all PCCC program and instructional policies as well as host facility policies at all times regarding professionalism, dress code, punctuality, and conduct. These policies will be discussed in greater detail with you at the onset of the program.

(Note: classroom and clinical settings give additional responsibilities and expectations that are course or agency specific).

Acute Care-Aide Diploma Costs:

  • Tuition: $16,008.00
  • Registration Fee: $250.00
  • Textbooks: $100.00
  • Supplies/Materials: $50.00
  • Lab Fees: $50.00
  • Uniforms: $30.00

Health Care Aide handouts, photocopied materials and access to the textbooks (for in-class use only) are included in your tuition fee.

Total program cost: $16,488.00. All fees are payable upon registration.