Resources for Youth, Career Counsellors, and Educators
If you are interested in a health care career, consider entering the field by becoming a Health Care Assistant (HCA).
To learn more about the role of an HCA, watch the following videos:
Check out these WorkBC Profiles for more information:
Dual Credit Options
Did you know that you can work toward an HCA credential while you are still in high school? If you are considering enrolling in a recognized HCA program after graduation, consider getting a head start on your HCA education through a dual credit option. Through a dual credit option, you will take post-secondary courses tuition-free and receive credit on your high school and college transcripts.
To hear personal experiences about dual credit options, watch this video.
To learn more about dual credit options, talk to your high school career counsellor.
For more information about dual credit options currently being offered in your community, browse through the links below:
BC Post-Secondary Institutions with HCA Dual Credit Options:
- Camosun College
- Coast Mountain College
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
- North Island College
- Northern Lights College
- Okanagan College
- Thompson Rivers University
- Vancouver Community College
- Vancouver Island University
Nursing Access and Bridging Programs
If you are interested in a career in nursing, there are many benefits to starting your career as a Health Care Assistant. While many nursing programs in BC have waitlists, many HCA programs across the province currently have seats available. Your HCA education could be a gateway to other health care careers, and enable you to gain valuable work experience, good wages, and benefits along the way.
After training as an HCA, if you wish to advance your studies, you can put your prior learning as an HCA toward other post-secondary programs, such as Nursing Access and Bridging Programs, which support a move from being an HCA to a Licensed Practical Nurse, and from a Licensed Practical Nurse to a Registered Nurse. These programs are designed for individuals with HCA education and experience to receive their nursing credentials more quickly.
Job Shadow Placements
Participating in a job shadow can help you gain knowledge about the role of a Health Care Assistant. These unpaid placements allow you to observe a HCA and learn about specific responsibilities required for the job. This is a great opportunity to find out if the career choice as an HCA is right for you.
Benefits to Job Shadowing:
- Experience a career of interest prior to enrolling into an educational program
- Understand the important and rewarding work of an HCA
- Observe and appreciate how roles in health care support one another
- Enjoy the opportunity to ask questions of an expert
As many employers do not post job shadow placements, talk to your high school career counsellor for information on how you can explore this option.
If you need financial assistance in order to enroll in an HCA program, there are options available. Please contact an HCA education program about available financial supports, or follow the links for more information about loans, scholarships, bursaries, and more:
- StudentAid BC
- Canada Student Grants and Loans
- BC Housing – Education Awards Program
- Douglas College – Health Care Bursaries
- North Island College – Evergreen Club Bursary
- Northern Lights College – Health Care Assistant Bursary
HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program
Health Match BC provides support to future HCAs who aim to register with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry through the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program. This program includes financial assistance to complete the NCAS assessment and registration process as well as valuable guidance and connections to education and employment opportunities. The HCA Program Info Sheet describes, in more detail, the supports available through this program.
Other Resources for Parents, Counsellors, and Educators
The WorkBC Parents’ and Career Counsellors Guide provides information, guidelines, and resources to support youth on their journey toward a career in health care.
The Ministry of Education’s Career Zone Guide provides background information on the health care sector in BC, and outlines how Employers and Institutions can work together to help support and prepare students for a career as a Health Care Assistant.
The Career Compass online tool helps youth explore potential health care career options. They can take a career quiz, browse careers, and explore job options in different regions of BC. Use Career Compass learning activities to help students in Grades 9 and 10 to explore career options, and Grade 11 students reassess their career plans.
Choose a Career in Providing Care