Health Care Assistant and Communication

Program Overview

This program is ideal for international students, or new immigrants whose do not speak English as a first language. It is also suitable for students without a health care background who are not familiar with medical terminology.


The first year offers Progressive English Training, which will help you achieve the necessary language requirement to enter the second year. The second year provides Health Care Career Training, which includes training in medical terminology, and skills and knowledge in taking care of young, mothers, elderly, family, and those with disabilities and chronic illness.


If language proficiency requirements are met, applicants can apply and may be directly accepted into the second year.

Effective September 2016, Gateway College will be implementing the HCA Provincial Curriculum 2015 into all the HCA courses. Graduates of the Health Care Assistant & Communication YR2 delivered by Gateway College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.


This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Program structure

First Year: Progressive English Training

  • Intensive English Program

  • Business Communication


Second Year: Health Care Career Training

  • Medical Terminology

  • Essential Skills for Caregivers

  • Health Care Assistant - Accelerated


Health Care Assistant and Communication - Year 1


Part I: English as a Second Language


Intensive English Program 

This program includes 27 hours of weekly instruction on the necessary components of ESL acquisition and via a practice. Students will also be included in a weekly activity that will further enhance their English skills and cultural experiences in Canada.


Business Communication 

This Business communication course is designed for students who need to use English in their work environment. It is also designed for adult students who will be entering the business world at the end of their studies. Our instructor will take students through an intensive 8-week course and will introduce you to many stimulating, current and realistic communicative activities that will make students more effective in the world of English speaking business.

Health Care Assistant and Communication - Year 2


Part II: Medical Terminology & Communications in Health Care

This course is designed for students who have no medical background or for those who are in the health care profession and would like to improve their knowledge in medical terminology. This knowledge is a vital part of the communication process in the health care and will further improve delivery of care to residents in acute or community settings. The unique approach and combination of word building principles combined with the knowledge of Basic Anatomy and Physiology will be taught by qualified Registered Nurses who have extensive experience and knowledge on the field.


Part III: Essential Skills for Caregivers

This course has been developed mainly to train a caregivers/support workers who are going to work with infants/children with various physical and emotional abilities or status. Caring for an infant provides a valuable service to the mother because it enables her to have more time and energy for herself and her family. The learners will have extensive knowledge of taking care of young and mothers and how to work with family.


Part IV: Health Care Assistant - Accelerated

This program is designed to train learners to become Health Care Professionals. 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 at 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, 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.


Student loans are available for qualified local students.

Program Duration

Health Care Assistant and Communication - Year 1: 32 weeks

Health Care Assistant and Communication - Year 2: 34 weeks

Admission Requirements

Please click here for admission requirement.

Program Outline

  • Progressive English Training (ESL)

  • Business Communication

  • Medical Terminology (Basic Word Structure, Organization of the Body, Suffixes, Prefixes, Medical specialists and case reports)

  • Caring for Mother and Infants.

  • Caring for Young

  • Developmental Disabilities

  • Growth and Development

  • Working with Clients and their families

  • 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, WHIMIS, 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)*


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


  • Health Care Assistant and Communication Diploma

  • Standard First Aid Level C Certitificate issued by Red Cross

  • FoodSafe Certificate issued by BC FOODSAFE

  • Dementia Certificate

  • WHMIS Certificate

  • Medication Administration Certificate

  • HCA Acute Care Certificate*

  • Provincial Violence Prevention Certificate*

  • 280 hours of practicum experience. 

  • Eligibility to register with the "BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry."


* Effective September 2016


Course List
  • Intensive English I

  • Intensive English II

  • Intensive English III

  • Business Communication

  • Medical Termonology

  • Essetial Skills for Caregivers

  • 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 Callenges

  • Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges

  • Healting 3: Personal Care and Assistant

  • Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living

  • Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care

  • Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR Level C

  • FoodSafe



Start Date

Please click here for the next class date.


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