If you're interested in providing personal assistance to those in need, and are understanding and non-judgmental, the Health Care Aide program can prepare you for a rewarding career in health care.


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Your caring heart and desire to help those who are struggling could be best suited to providing client-focused services and personal assistance with daily living activities – we’ll show you how in the Health Care Aide program. This 485-hour certificate program mixes theory and hands-on training to deliver an education experience based on the Health Care Aide Provincial Curriculum of Alberta.

In the classroom, you’ll develop an understanding of safe work practices, client support and hygiene, medication delivery and everything else you need to know to positively affect the lives of patients each day. During your 200-hour work-based, practical experiences, you’ll put theory into practice, gaining the skills vital to your career as a health care aide.

Start a career you’ll love in this high demand field – apply to the Health Care Aide program today!

Career opportunities

Your certificate in the Health Care Aide program will prepare you for a wide range of employment opportunities including:

  • hospitals
  • doctors’ practices
  • medical clinics
  • private health care providers
  • long-term care facilities
  • respite facilities
  • hospice facilities
  • health care agencies
Starts In: September, January
Status: Winter (January) 2018 Waitlisting
Next Intake: Fall (September) 2018
Application Deadlines:

  • Domestic for Fall 2018: September 4, 2018
  • International for Fall 2018: June 1, 2018


For a full list of dates and deadlines, click here.

Duration: 485 Hours
Credential: Certificate
Delivery Format
Year 1 Term I
Course Code Course Name Credits

Important note: Progression into HCA-1105 (Practicum I) requires successful completion of HCA-1107, HCA-1112, HCA-1113, and HCA-1115.

Year 1 Term II
Course Code Course Name Credits


New students are accepted into the Health Care Aide program for the Fall (September) and Winter (January) terms.

General admission requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.

Academic requirements

Applicants to this program do not require a high school diploma; however, they must satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):

  •  Grade 10 English

Practice-based experience (PBE) requirements

This program has a required practice-based experience (PBE) component coordinated by the Placement Office. The college dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the PBE.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the PBE setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OHS requirements (e.g. CPR certification, fire safety, WHMIS, mask fit-testing, etc.).

As a post-secondary health-care program in Alberta, provincial immunization standards apply to students in this program. As per the provincial “Standard for Immunization of Post-Secondary Health Care Students and Students in Other High-Risk Occupational Programs,” all post-secondary institutions have the responsibility of assessing the immunization status of each health care student at the time of initial enrolment and to ensure all health care students are fully immunized before leaving post-secondary programs. There is an administrative fee for this assessment and vaccinations required to become fully immunized.

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage: PBE placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student. Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage. In certain instances, for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a PBE placement outside of Alberta). These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

PBE sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. PBEs may include day, evening and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

Find out more about pre-placement requirements for your program.

Prior learning assessment (PLA)

If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.

Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the College and University Preparation program to upgrade their academic skills.

Academic Year Tuition Fees Books & Supplies
Year 1 $4,410.00 $770.00 $351.00

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. Give it a try!

Budget Wizard

  • Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
  • International students are charged three times the tuition fee of their particular program and the same (other) fees as domestic students.
  • Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

In demand in just 485 hours

Our grads are often hired immediately by the organization they worked for during their practicum.

With a focus on hands-on training that prepares you for the actual job, it’s no surprise grads from our program are in demand. Often, they’re hired immediately by the organization they worked for during their practicum. You, too, can look forward to a fast path to your career. Just 485 hours, the Health Care Aide program packs a lot of training into a short amount of time while following the provincial curriculum for health care aides.

Hands-on, immersive learning

SPHERE: A learning environment like no other

Experience realistic health training made possible by on-campus and industry collaboration.

SPHERE: A learning environment like no other

When textbooks and lectures can’t teach you everything, the Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) fills in the gaps. What can you expect in SPHERE? Well, the simple answer is: anything you might encounter on the job.

All the theory in the world can’t prepare you for the reality of dealing with an acute stroke and subsequent end-of-life incident. But SPHERE can. For example, the creation of this new scenario involved working closely with Alberta Health Services Stroke Committee and Cornerstone Funeral Homes Ltd. Best evidence-based practices and inter-professional perspectives were used to shape a realistic scenario.

Imagine encountering a real-patient actor who has been stabbed in the chest and has a history of untreated bipolar disorder and substance use disorder. As you care for this individual, she begins going through alcohol withdrawal, becoming increasingly aggressive to the point where she’s fighting back and resisting treatment. How do you respond? Find out during a high-fidelity scenario.

Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education

The Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) is an evolving learning facility primarily for students in the Centre for Health and Wellness. Using high-tech manikins and human simulation, SPHERE provides a comprehensive range of health-related scenarios to enhance your education and better prepare you for your job. SPHERE features:

  • six SPHERE/nursing labs
  • two high-fidelity patient rooms with control and debrief rooms
  • one massage lab
  • one EMT/TRG lab

SPHERE is heavily focused on creating collaborative opportunities within the Centre for Health and Wellness as well as for other campus departments and industry stakeholders. It’s an aspect that makes SPHERE unique from other institutions where the norm is to have the simulation centre support only the Health programs. And it means more realistic experiences for you.

High-fidelity patient rooms

It’s like walking into a hospital room – without leaving campus. Two high-fidelity patient rooms provide the highest level of simulation before a real-life environment. It’s controlled chaos without the real-life consequences.

Created in collaboration with programs to meet their specific needs, scenarios either use high-tech manikins or actual people to role-play the patient and family members. This level of simulation encourages students to treat a patient just as they would during a clinical experience, with a few exceptions:

  • you are allowed to take physicians’ orders as though you were a practising licenced nurse, which is not permitted for students during a clinical experience
  • you can “pause” the scenario as needed to gather your thoughts, collaborate with your peers on the treatment plan or find information required to move forward with the scenario

Typically, scenarios are conducted in groups of six or eight. Half the group cares for the patient while the other half observes through a real-time video feed in the debrief room.

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