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Acute Care Aide Co-Op Work Experience Diploma


Program Description:

This full-time diploma program prepares graduates to work as Acute Care Aides in a variety of health care facilities both public & private including hospitals, nursing homes, group homes and home 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.


Program Length:

1497 hours over 64 weeks


Program Components:

  • Health Care Assistant Certification (Module 1)
  • Acute Care Aide Co-op Work Experience (Module 2)
  • Acute Care Skills for Health Care Assistants Certification (Module 3)

Module 1 - Health Care Assistant Certification Component: 777 hours over 31 weeks (28 weeks of classroom and 3 weeks of preceptored work experience)

  • Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice.
  • Health and Healing: Foundational Concepts.
  • Health and Healing: Interpersonal Communication and Relationships.
  • Health and Healing: Personal Care (Self and Clients).
  • Specialized Healing: Health Promotion and Monitoring.
  • Specialized Healing: Care for Diverse Groups.
  • Specialized Healing: Treatments
  • Instructor led clinical practice
  • Practical work preparation


  • Child Care observation.
  • Community Based clinical experience (home support and/or assisted living).
  • 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)
  • Palliative Care
  • Foot Care
  • Diabetes
  • Medication Administration

Delivery Methods:

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

Health Care Assistant Certification Evaluation:

  • Assignment 1 : 10%
  • Assignment 2 : 10%
  • Quizes : 10%
  • Mid-Term Exam : 10%
  • Exam 1 : 20%
  • Clinical Practicum Evaluation : 40%

Grading System:

  • Student 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.

Module 2 - Acute Care Aide – Co-op Work Experience Component: 600 hours over 23 weeks

This monitored work experience provides the student with real-life exposure to workplace settings and to not only put into practice, but master the provision of care, assisting clients and communication with clients, families, and other health care team members that the student learned during the HCA certification module with the goal of achieving the requisite hours and industry reference required to progress into the Acute Care Skills module.


The student will work as a member of the resident care facility team as a Health Care Assistant.  A Pacific Coast instructor would be accessible throughout the program but formally in one on one monthly performance assessments with the host/employer facility.  The student would be directly supervised by the facilities designated department supervisor.


Delivery Methods:

Real-life intensive practice of HCA skills in a recognized extended care community setting, coordinated by Pacific Coast.


Student Evaluation:

Using the Pacific Coast preceptored practicum evaluation template, the preceptor evaluates the student on a monthly basis though out the program.  Pacific Coast maintains communication with the site and the preceptor for ongoing feedback.


Grading System:

The student is required to achieve a consistantly satisfactory evaluation over the period of the co-op module by their direct supervisor at the facility in order to qualify for entry into the Acute Care Skills module and clinical preceptorship.


Student Responsibility:

The student is required to follow Pacific Coast policies at all times regarding professionalism, dress code, punctuality, and conduct.  The safety of the client is always the top priority, and the student assumes responsibility with under the supervision of the facility for providing care and assistance safely and as they were taught, adhering to all of the facilities policies and procedures.


Learning Resources:

The Pacific Coast clinical module and facility supervisor mentorship


Co-op Learning Outcomes:

  1. To provide proficient and efficient care and assistance, as per the clients’ individual care plans
  2. To communicate proficiently with clients, their involved families, and other health care team members
  3. To provide individualized person-centred care while maintaining dignity and privacy, and encouraging independence.
  4. To fully recognize clients as unique individuals, and to approach all clients without judgment.
  5. Appropriate observation of the client and reporting of exceptional or unusual findings to the most suitable team member.
  6. Accurate and complete documentation, as required
  7. Function independently, and be managing an actual work load in the setting.
  8. Becoming a practicing, provincially registered Health Care Assistant
  9. Achieving the requisite industry experience, references and positive record of employment to move on to the Acute Care Skills module of the program of study.

Module 3 - Acute Care Skills for Health Care Assistants Component: 120 hours over 11.83 weeks consisting of 10 class days and a 2 week (6 days/ 48 hours) full-time instructor-led clinical practicum in an acute care setting.

  • Students will be provided with additional knowledge and skills necessary to assist Registered Nurses in a new 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.  Students will increase their awareness of changes in health status, treatments and interventions, and increase their comfort in working with equipment commonly required by the acutely ill patient/ client.
  • This program helps prepare learners to complete their employers’ delegated tasks certification process.
  • The program consists of three units: two theories, and one clinical practicum.

Program Outline:

  • There are three units in the acute care skills certificate program.
  • Acute Care Theory Unit A consists of a “Delegation of Tasks” course followed by three courses which must be taken in sequential order, followed by an examination.
  • Acute Care Practice Unit B follows with a full-time clinical practicum under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor in groups no larger than eight.

Acute Care Theory Unit A:

  • Delegation of Tasks
  • Working in the Acute Care System
  • Care of Clients in Acute Care
  • Care of Clients with Diverse Needs

Acute Care Clinical Practice Unit B:

  • Clinical Practicum in Acute Care

Delivery Methods:

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

Student Evaluation:

  • Acute Care Theory Unit A    60%
  • Acute Care Theory Unit B    40%

Grading System:

  • Student 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:

  • Students will attend all classes and all practicum days.
  • Students will wear Pacific Coast Community College photo ID in all practicum areas.
  • Students will sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Students will provide a current security clearance certificate with no convictions.
  • Students who are unable to attend class will notify the appropriate instructor; a doctor’s note may be required.
  • Students with concerns or questions about the program will discuss these questions in class with an instructor present or on an individual basis with an instructor.
  • Students will notify the facility and the instructor if he/ she is unable to attend practicum because of illness.

Program Admission Requirements:

  • Grade 12 or mature student Status (19 years of age or older).


  • Acceptable criminal records check as required by the Criminal Records Review Act less than 6 months old at program acceptance.


  • TB Screening that is less than 3 months old + updated immunizations required before commencing practicum.


  • English Language Proficiency Requirements
  1. Applicants who have been educated in an English-speaking environment for a minimum of seven years or have been educated in an English-speaking environment for four consecutive years at the secondary or post-secondary level, are to submit evidence of one of the following:
  • Successful completion of Grade 10 English;
  • OR Language Proficiency Index (LPI) with a total score of at least 20 and an essay level of 4 with a score of 24/40.
  1. Applicants who have not been educated in an English-speaking environment for a minimum of seven (7) years or four years at the secondary or post-secondary level, are to submit evidence of one of the following:
  • Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT) -- test must be within the last six months: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
  • OR Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) -- test must be within the last two years. IBT only: Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing.
  • OR International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic or General -- test must be within the last two years: Overall score of 6 with a minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing.
  • OR Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) Academic or General --  Aggregate score of 4L or better, with 4L or better in Speaking and Listening and 3H or better in Reading and Writing.
  • OR Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) -- Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50.

Accepted Countries List

Countries with English language systems / institutions[1]

(Where English is a primary, official language and the language used for education)

American Samoa






Falkland Islands



New Zealand

United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)




United States of America (USA)




US Virgin Islands



South Africa




St. Kitts and Nevis



British Virgin Islands

Irish Republic


St. Lucia

St. Vincent


Cayman Island


Trinidad and Tobago




Turks and Caico Islands


*Applicants educated in Quebec at an institution where the language of instruction was not English, must meet the current English language proficiency requirements.


[1] Weighted criteria to determine inclusion of a country on this list were:  use of English as by more than 50% of the population, country literacy rate as compared to world literacy rate, School Life Expectancy (SLE) rate as compared to the world SLE rate, schooling in languages other than English in primary grades, consistency of listing by Canadian post-secondary institutions and country recognition on the BC College of Physician & Surgeons List.


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


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