Acute Care Skills for Health Care Assistants

You will be provided with 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 the Health Care Assistant (HCA/RCA) program. It increases 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.

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

Every 5 Weeks

10 Weeks

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

Pacific Coast Community College


$1,350 (Financing Eligible)

Interested in this program?

Program Content

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

  • Unit A - Acute Care Theory
  • 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.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Proof of graduation from an approved RCA/HCA/Community Health Care Worker Program, which meets the BC Provincial Curriculum hours or a valid/current registry number with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.
  • A current CPR “C” certificate valid before commencing Clinical Practicum portion of the program.
  • An acceptable criminal records check as required by the Criminal Records Review Act less than 6 months old at program acceptance.
  • A TB Screening that is less than 3 months old + updated immunizations required before commencing practicum.
  • An advanced placement standing with credit for Acute Care Theory Unit A will be given to graduates who completed BCRCA/Pacific Coast Community College HCA Program since January, 2007; or those who completed the three courses in the Skills Enhancement Certificate Program for HCA’s from BCRCA Inc./Pacific Coast Community College and the updated BCRCA/PCCC “Delegation of Tasks” class since June 1, 2007.
  • A relevant reference proving 600 hours of related facility employment experience or current resume demonstrating the same. For non-facility employment (i.e.: home support), applicant must complete the HCA Skills checklist and will be individually assessed by an instructor prior to acceptance.


English Language Proficiency Requirements

You must be sufficiently fluent in spoken English to understand classroom teaching and engage in clinical conversations; demonstrate ability to comprehend written text and classroom materials to a satisfactory level, and prepare written assignments.

You must have at least Grade 10 English demonstrated through a high school diploma/ GED/ copy of transcript or one of the following equivalencies: placement in the middle intermediate level of a recognized English as a Second Language School that is registered with PCTIA or equivalent and recognized English exam assessment (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.).

If you do not have any of the above we will administer an SLE exam to determine your English language eligibility and you must score at least 26 to be considered sufficiently fluent.

(Program admission requirements may not be waived by the student or the institution.)

Delivery Methods:

Lecture, lab, audiovisual materials, on-site training.


Student Evaluation:

Unit A - Acute Care Theory   70%
Unit B - Acute Care Clinical Practice   30%


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.

You must complete and pass Unit A and a Final Exam before proceeding to Unit B - Acute Care Clinical Practice.


Student Responsibility:

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 are discussed in greater detail with you at the start of the program.

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

Acute Care Skills for the Health Care Assistant Program Costs:

All fees are payable on registration.

Tuition is $1500 (which includes a non-refundable $150 registration fee).

Acute Care handouts, photocopied materials and access to the HCA basic textbook (for in-class use only) are included in your tuition fee.

Pacific Coast Community College will supply you with all of the required textbooks, workbooks, binders and lab materials. You are only required to bring a pen and paper to class.