B.C.'s Energy College

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HCAT 124 - Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance

This practical course offers students the opportunity to acquire personal care and assistance skills within the parameters of the HCA role. The course is comprised of class and supervised laboratory experiences which assist the student to integrate theory from other courses to develop care-giver skills that maintain and promote the comfort, safety, and independence of individuals in community and facility contexts.


Hours: 120 (Lecture Hours: 42; Laboratory Hours: 78)


Total Weeks: 15





Non-Course Prerequisites:



HCAT 110 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
HCAT 111 Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
HCAT 112 Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
HCAT 113 Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
HCAT 123 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges

HCAT 125 Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges


Course Content:
Problem-solving when carrying out care-giving procedures:
- Planning and implementing care based on the person’s needs, the established care plan and facility/ agency policies
- Assessing the client/resident and the situation prior to commencing care
- Identifying unsafe environments or situations
- Seeking assistance if necessary in order to maintain the safety of the client/resident and/or the care provider
- Organizing equipment and supplies in order to efficiently complete tasks
- Checking equipment for safety and functionality
- Reporting equipment malfunction
- Performing the procedure(s)
- Maintaining client/resident privacy and dignity
- Encouraging independence and self-care as much as possible
- Cleaning equipment after use and returning to appropriate place
- Tidying the resident/client’s environment
- Evaluating effectiveness of the procedure
- Reporting and recording actions, results and observations
Asepsis and Prevention of Infection:
- Standard and routine precautions
- Hand washing
- Gloving
- Isolation precautions
Promoting comfort and rest:
- Admitting a person to a facility
- Promoting comfort, rest and sleep
Promoting personal hygiene:
- Oral hygiene
- Bathing: bed bath, tub baths and showers
- Providing perineal care
- Assisting with grooming and dressing
- A.M (early morning) and H.S (hours of sleep or bedtime) care
- Back massage and skin care
- Using pressure relieving devices
Moving, positioning and transferring a client/resident:
- Body mechanics in the home and facility
- Turning a person in bed
- Using positioning devices
- Assisting with transferring and moving a person in a hospital bed and a regular bed
- Transferring a person to a stretcher
- Moving a person to the side of a bed and assisting him/her to sit
- Transferring a person from bed to chair or wheelchair and back
- Transferring a person from a wheelchair to a bath chair or toilet
- Using mechanical lifts including ceiling lifts
- Assisting the individual to use a walker safely
- Cleaning of equipment (in the home)
- Making a closed bed
- Making an open bed
- Making an occupied bed
Promoting exercise and activity:
- Bed rest
- Assisting with ambulation
- Assisting with walking devices: especially safe use of walkers with resting seat
- Assisting with wheelchairs
- Dealing with falls
Promoting healthy nutrition and fluid intake:
- Preparing simple, nutritionally sound meals (in the home)
- Practicing safe food handling and storage
- Using food preparation equipment
- Serving meals in ways that encourage normalizing interactions
- Assisting clients/residents with eating and drinking
- Utilizing safe eating assistance techniques with individuals who are experiencing difficulty biting, chewing and/or swallowing
- Cleaning equipment, dishes, and utensils after use
- Observing and recording intake and output
Promoting urinary and bowel elimination:
- Using bedpans and urinals
- Toileting techniques
- Using commodes
- Assisting the person with urinary and bowel incontinence
- Using urinary incontinence products
- Assisting the person with condom catheter drainage
- Assisting the person with an established catheter
- Emptying drainage bags
- Collecting urine specimens
- Factors affecting bowel elimination
- Assisting with bowel training
- Administering enemas and suppositories
- Assisting the person with an established ostomy
- Collecting stool specimens
Measuring vital signs:
- Measuring height and weight
- Measuring body temperature
- Monitoring pulse and respirations
- Being familiar with differing types of equipment
- Reporting and recording vital signs
Heat and cold applications:
- Knowing policies and procedures of facility/agency
- Administering cold packs under supervision of RN
Assisting with oxygen needs:
- Safe use of oxygen
- Recognizing oxygen concentrators, tanks (compressed oxygen) and liquid oxygen
- Dealing with oxygen tubing
Assisting with Medications:
- Assisting vs. Administering in relation to parameters of practice
- Roles and responsibilities, legal implications of actions
- Observing resident/client for untoward effects (i.e. recognizing what is not normal and reporting it)
- General types of medications (capsules, tablets, ointments, suppositories, liquids, drops)
- Common abbreviations used with medications
- Label reading
- Critical “rights” of assisting with medications
- Individual’s right to refuse medication
- Assisting with pre-packaged, pre-measured oral medications
- Assisting with oral, eye and transdermal medications
- Assisting with metered dose inhalers
- Assisting with topical application of ointments
- Documentation
Home management:
- Application of agency policies and procedures
- Assessing the home for safety risks (for client and caregiver)
- Fire hazards and safety precautions
- Applying principles of asepsis, safety, and organization when:
- Cleaning kitchens
- Cleaning bathrooms
- Cleaning other parts of a home
- Care and handling of laundry (including body substance protection)
- Properly disposing of incontinence products
- Using common cleaning agents (application of WHIMS)
- Using appliances and equipment safely
- Using body mechanics in a home environment
- Dealing with emergencies in the home
Personal Assistance Guidelines:
- Current Personal Assistance Guidelines of the Health Authority of the region
- Procedures that are designated as delegated or assignable tasks in respect to HCA (CHW/Home Support Worker) practice
- Assignable tasks for clients/residents who can direct own care
- Delegated tasks for clients/residents who can direct own care
- Delegated tasks for clients/residents unable to direct own care
- Legal implications involved in performance
- Healthcare professionals responsible for assigning and delegating tasks
- Principles and rationale underlying safe and efficient performance of delegated or assigned tasks
- Basic procedures involved in the safe, efficient performance of these tasks
- Community resources and supports
NOTE: All skills are taught in such a way that both facility and community contexts are



Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:
Perform personal care skills in an organized manner ensuring the comfort and appropriate independence of the client/resident:
- Organize and implement care according to client/resident needs
- Encourage independence of the client/resident as much as possible
- Encourage client/resident communication and engagement during personal care
- Maintain client/resident privacy and dignity
- Assist the client/resident with personal hygiene and grooming
- Assist the client/resident with movement and ambulation
- Use aids to promote comfort, relaxation and sleep
- Take and record vital signs accurately
- Prepare simple, nutritious meals that are in keeping with the preferences of the client
- Assist the client/resident with medication
- Provide specialized, sensitive care for the dying client/resident in line with palliative care principles
Apply an informed problem-solving process to the provision of care and assistance:
- Assess the client/resident and situation
- Observe changes in the client/resident’s health status
- Set priorities or make adjustments to the care process based on client/ resident requirements
- Identify priorities for care within the care plan
- Utilize appropriate health team members as resources to augment one’s own problem-solving and decision-making
- Follow the care plan for each client/resident
- Conduct care-giving or assisting activities
- Reflect on and evaluate effectiveness of care or assistance
- Carry out recording requirements
- Utilize creativity when required to adapt care and assistance to a variety of contexts
Provide personal care and assistance within the parameters of the HCA:
- Comply with legal parameters of practice for HCA roles
- Collaborate with other members of the health team
- Use appropriate lines of communication
- Demonstrate dependability, reliability, honesty and integrity
- Adhere to the client’s/resident’s care plan
- Abide by principles, procedures and legal implications involved in the application of Personal Assistance Guidelines
Provide care and assistance in ways that maintain safety for self and others in a variety of contexts:
- Wear safe and appropriate clothing, including identification
- Assess the environment prior to commencing care
- Adjust the environment, as appropriate, to ensure safety and to promote efficiency
- Organize time and equipment for safety and efficiency
- Base choices and actions on a sound knowledge of asepsis and body mechanics
- Adhere to infection control practices
- Recognize and make wise choices in situations of potential risk to self or others
- Exhibit flexible and adaptable behaviour in a variety of contexts
- Recognize and respond appropriately to emergency situations


Grading System: Percentage and Pass/Fail


Passing Grade: The theory and lab components of HCAT 124 run concurrently. 75% is the required passing grade for the theory portion of course. Meanwhile, students must achieve a minimum mastery level of 80% on a cumulative lab skills test. However, the lab skills test is simply graded as P/F. Thus, the theory grade becomes the final course grade provided students pass the lab component.


Percentage of Individual Work: 90


Percentage of Group Work: 10


Additional Course Comments:
- Lab performance will be graded Pass/Fail with a mastery level of B+ (80%) required for a Pass. If students do not achieve a P on a first lab skills test, they have one opportunity to repeat the lab test. Students who are unable to successfully complete the lab stills test will receive an F for the course.
- The theory/lab courses in this program run concurrently. Practice education courses follow.
- Some course materials must be accessed on the NLC D2L server. A D2L tutorial will be provided.Internet access is needed. Basic computer skills are recommended.
- Some travel may be required.
- Attendance is mandatory. Any missed classes may result in request to withdraw.



Text Books:
Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.
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