Course: Enhanced Skills Program - Geriatric Care


Program Description

Program Overview

This program is designed to enhance the knowledge and skill of learners who work with older adults to effectively meet the needs of the aging population. This program will focus on gaining a greater understanding of the physical, social, cognitive and spiritual needs of the older adults, and the challenges faced by our aging population. Our dedicated and experienced instructors will provide quality education with hands-on training to prepare students for the real world. Students will practice their techniques in labs equipped with articulated mannequins, hospital beds, medical gear, and fixtures. Furthermore, students will participate in a designated facility or a hospital and interact with patients throughout the practicum training period.

This training will help students learn proficiency and the confidence most needed on a job. Our graduates work in both private and publicly funded facilities and hospitals as well as a variety of community settings. These may include extended care, intermediate care, assisted living, acute care hospitals, home support, rehabilitation facilities, and group homes. HCAs work as part of a team within a health care unit under the supervision of a health care professional such as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Program Duration

Total 1044 hours over 38 Weeks

Program Delivery Options

To meet the need of students who require flexibility and convenience, this program is offered in:

  • Traditional Education (In-class)
  • Distance Education: Blended Learning (Online + In-class)

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must be 19 years of age prior to the start of the study period or graduation from grade 12 (or equivalent)
  2. Applicants must provide proof of meet Language Competency Requirements.

The following are to be completed prior to the first practice education experience:

  • Proof of meeting current immunizations/vaccinations as per health care organization policies/guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form, except TB)
  • Criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults
  • First Aid
  • CPR Level “C” or “HCP”
  • FoodSafe Level 1 (or a course deemed equivalent)
  • Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum (PVPC) E-Learning Modules

* Note: Additional Police Certificate from the country of origin, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults, is required for international students.

Language Competency Requirements

  • English 10 or equivalent (for applicants whose first language is English *)
    • (Evidence of one of the following test score)
    • Proof of completion of Grade 10 English; or
    • College courses determined to be equivalent to the completion of Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. Applicants must produce transcripts as evidence of completion. A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
    • Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT): Reading Comprehensive 35/50, Spelling 23/32
    • Language Placement Index (LPI): The three individual scores (Sentence Structure, English Usage, and Reading Comprehension) must total a minimum of 20, out of a maximum possible score of 40. Essay level of 4, with a minimum essay score of 24/40.
    • Accuplacer: Grade 10 level or higher, Reading Comprehension 60, Sentences Skill 55, Writeplacer 4
  • Standardized English language proficiency test score (for applicants whose first language is not English)
  • (Evidence of one of the following test score)
    • The 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
    • 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
    • Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT): test must be within the last year: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6 (Note: a CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted.)
    • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General): test must be within the last two years, Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6
    • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): test must be within the last two years, Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50
    • Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN): test within the last two years, Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6

* Note: To achieve functional language proficiency and be termed as a speaker of English as a first language, one would require seven (7) years of education in a listed country with English language systems/institutions (see list provided below). These years could be acquired in either a consecutive or non-consecutive manner. If, however, these years were all consecutive and inclusive of only secondary or post-secondary education in an English-speaking environment, the number of years to be considered as a speaker of English as a first language could be achieved in a period of three (3) years.

Countries with English language systems/institutions (where English is a primary, official language and the language used for education)

  • American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Island, Canada*, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Irish Republic, Jamaica, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), United States of America (USA), US Virgin Islands

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

Program Outline

  • Concepts for Practice (theory, roles, law, organization)
  • Interpersonal Communications (empathy, medical terms)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (intro to body systems)
  • Lifestyle and Choices (activities of daily living)
  • Personal Care Skills (hygiene, comfort, simple treatments)
  • Caring for Common Health Challenges (life cycle)
  • Mobility Techniques (body mechanics)
  • Pharmacology (assisting with medication delivery)
  • Gerontology (study of aging process, demography)
  • Cognitive and Mental Health (including addictions)
  • Dementia (causes, stages, behaviors, Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • Palliative Care (end-of-life care, pain management, grieving)
  • Family Dynamics (culture, diversity, domestic violence)
  • Nutrition (menu planning, diet, Canada’s Food Guide)
  • Safe Work Practices (infection control, WHMIS, fire safety)
  • Assault Response (defensive and preventive skills)
  • Professional Development (transitions, employment skills)
  • Basic Computer Skills (Word Processing, Email, Internet Search, Netiquette)
  • Acute Care (Acute Care Settings, Roles of HCA in Acute Care)
  • Paid Co-op Work Experience

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to obtain:

  • Enhanced Skills Program - Geriatric Care Diploma
  • Health Care Assistant - Accelerated Diploma
  • Standard First Aid & CPR Level C Certificate issued by Red Cross
  • FoodSafe Certificate issued by BC FOODSAFE
  • Dementia Certificate
  • WHMIS Certificate
  • Medication Administration Certificate
  • Provincial Violence Prevention Certificate
  • HCA Acute Care Certificate
  • 280 hours of work experience (Clinical Placement + Practicum)
  • 240 hours of paid co-op work experience
  • Eligibility to register with the "BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry."

Course List

  • Health and Healing: Concept for Practice
  • Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
  • Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
  • Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
  • Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
  • Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges
  • Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistant
  • Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living
  • Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care
  • Gerontology
  • ESPGC: Co-op
  • Emergency First Aid & CPR Level C
  • FoodSafe

Start Dates

  • Year 2019: November 11
  • Year 2020: March 16 / July 13 / November 16
Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

Gateway College can proudly state that it has been training thousands of students to be a Health Care Assistant since 1986. Gateway College graduates are working as valuable members of the health-care ... Read More

Gateway College can proudly state that it has been training thousands of students to be a Health Care Assistant since 1986. Gateway College graduates are working as valuable members of the health-care team in private and public hospitals, long-term care, complex care, assisted living, independent living, special care, palliative care facilities as well as home support agencies. Read less