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Edmonton Catholic Schools

Health Care Aide

Health Care Aide

Here is an opportunity to get started on your future as a Health Care Aide.  Upon successful completion of the program, you will be prepared to work in continuing care institutions, home care agencies, group homes, assisted or supportive living, day programs, specialized care centres and programs, acute care hospitals and private facilities. 

Dual Credit - Health Care Aide - Brochure 2020.pdf


Working Safely and Effectively as a Health Care Aide: Heath care aides work in a variety of employment settings providing care that is safe, ethical, respectful, and based on the needs of the client. This type of care is referred to as client-centred care. This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the health care aide in meeting the standards of client-centred care. To meet the goals of client-centred care, the health care aide must be familiar with the provincial legislation that guides safe, ethical, and personalized care. In addition, the HCA must know how to work effectively as part of the health-care team. Knowledge of the employer's policies and procedures and job descriptions is also essential. This course provides the firm foundation upon which the knowledge and skills learned in all other program courses are built.

Communications in the Health-Care Environment: Strong communication skills are an important part of being a successful health care aide in a health-care environment that requires competent verbal, written, and electronic communication skills. This course focuses on professional communication with other team members, clients, and client families; written communication including documentation in client records and report completion; and strategies for problem solving and handling conflict. Strategies for overcoming the challenges and barriers to communication between client and caregiver caused by disease and aging in the client will also be discussed.

Structure and Function of the Human Body – Health and Chronic Illness: In this course, you will study the 10 systems that make up the human body and discuss the milestones of growth and development across a lifetime. You will read about and discuss the most common of the chronic illnesses that you may encounter, and you will learn how to provide safe care based on best practices according the clients' diagnoses, needs, and care plans. The information learned in this course will provide you with care strategies to support the client, the client's family, and yourself through the process of a client's dying and death.

Providing Client Care and Comfort: In this course, you will learn to support clients to maintain their independence and meet their care needs according to individual care plans. You will acquire the skills and knowledge you need to assist clients with daily grooming and hygiene and to assist clients to walk and use mobility aids and wheel chairs safely. You will learn several methods for carrying out client lifts and transfers, with a focus on client safety and comfort. Upon completion of the course, you will have will have excellent baseline knowledge of standards for meeting client nutritional needs and strict guidelines in safe food handling as set out in Alberta Long-Term Care Accommodation Standards.

Health Care Aide Integrated Practicum 1: Under the direction of a regulated health-care professional, students will work in a designated assisted living (DAL) site providing care and support for clients.

Meeting Complex Care Needs: Building on the basic skills introduced in previous courses, this course gives students the opportunity to learn the advanced skills that health care aides need to support care activities such as ostomy care, respiratory care, catheter care, and tube feeds. In addition, accurate measurement of vital signs is demonstrated, practiced, and assessed, and students will acquire the knowledge and skills required to provide safe active and passive range-of-motion exercises.

Assisting with Medication Delivery: This course will assist you to work safely within the legal roles and responsibilities of health care aides in this province. Assisting with medication delivery is a very challenging and highly responsible task. The theory and labs of this course will allow you to undertake this task with competence and confidence. This course is included in the HCA Preparation for Employment provincial standard as mandated by Alberta Health Services.

Special Activities for Diverse Clients: A central feature of this course is the extensive section on meeting the care and comfort needs of clients with a diagnosis of dementia. Students also learn about care strategies for assisting other diverse client groups such as clients with a mental health diagnosis and clients with developmental delays and physical disabilities. Health care aides employed by home care agencies may have the opportunity to provide care for infants and children, and this course provides the information and skills needed to assist with these care assignments.

Health Care Aide Practicum II: Under the direction of a regulated health-care professional, students will work in a continuing care setting providing care and support for clients.


  • Students must have completed Grade 10
  • Letter of recommendation is required from a previous teacher
  •  English Language Arts 20-1, 20-2

Location: St. Joseph High School

When: September 2020 - June 2021 on Monday - Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm with the exception of Thursday and practicum placements in July 2021. 

Registration Details

  • Must be registered as an Edmonton Catholic Schools student - Contact Assistant Principal of St. Joseph High School Nicole Duigou-Jones for registration in the program
  • Official high school transcript must be submitted to NorQuest College in a sealed envelope from Alberta Education.
  • The class runs every Monday-Thursday afternoon with occasional Fridays.  Attendance is essential for successful completion of the program.

Potential Future Careers

  • It is a great start to learn the knowledge and skills necessary to decide if you would like to continue your education towards a Licenced Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse.

Program Details

  • Students should not be carrying more than 3 courses in addition to this program.
  • Students must maintain a 70% or better grade on all tests (they have a max of 2 rewrites for the entire course which is 7 tests) 
  • Students should not take holidays during the school year.
  • Students will complete their practicum session during spring break (first mandatory practicum) and during month of July (second , major practicum)
  • The program costs $450.00 at St. Joes (approx. $4000 at Norquest), which covers administration fees for our school, photocopying, supplies for the program (nonreturnable scrubs, lab supplies and textbook material) and standard first aid certification fees (to be done during semester break)
  • Norquest registration form must be submitted to St. Joseph starting as early as May 1st., 2015.
  • Students will have additional costs to register, full registration to the program requires:
    1. Official transcript $10 (original) 
    2. Criminal Record check (CRC) $50
    3. Immunization assessment (not just your record of immunization) (initial appointment is $48-60) 

Course Evaluation

Students will have both the Alberta Education courses and the NorQuest courses on their high school transcript.