HCAT 123 - Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice

This course provides students with the opportunity to develop a theoretical framework for practice. Students will be introduced to the philosophical values and theoretical understandings that provide a foundation for competent practice as a HCA. The course focuses on concepts of caring and person-centred care; basic human needs and human development; family, culture and diversity as they relate to health and healing. Students will also be introduced to a problem-solving model that will be critical to their practice.


Hours: 70 (Lecture Hours: 70)




Non-Course Prerequisites:


HCAT 110, HCAT 111, HCAT 112, HCAT 113, HCAT 124, and HCAT 125



Course Content:
1. Characteristics of caring and person-centred practice
     - Caring as a moral ideal: What is caring?
     - What distinguishes a caring from an uncaring act?
     - Caring in a health care context.
     - Values and beliefs about care and caring.
     - Promoting the dignity and worth of self and others
     - Self-building and self-caring as the basis of becoming an effective care provider
     - Caring and power: Power positions vs. relational positions with others
     - Independence, dependence, and interdependence.
     - Independence and self-esteem
     - Promoting self-determination
     - Promoting the quality of life—who defines it and who decides what it means to each person.
     - Social and community models of care
     - Supporting personal preferences and choices
     - Recreation/socialization, and quality of life.
     - Preventing isolation and unnecessary dependence.
     - Living at risk—what it is and why it is an option—the right to self-determination and choice.
2. Basic human needs
     - Hierarchy of needs
           - Physiological.
           - Safety and Security
           - Love and Belonging.
           - Self-esteem
           - Self-actualization/Self-fulfilment.
     - Interrelationship of needs
     - Factors that affect needs and the meeting of needs in older adults.
     - Needs assessment
3. Human Development
     - Principles of human development
     - Development characteristics and changes in the older adult:
           - Physical changes.
           - Psycho-social challenges.
           - Loss as a part of aging
           - Diversity in older adults
           - Factors influencing aging.
4. Family in Health and Healing
     - Family development.
     - Diverse family units
     - Changing family structures
     - Socio-cultural, religious, environmental and economic influences of the family.
     - The role of family in health and healing:
           - Coping and adapting
           - Influence on health care choices, such as traditional and alternative medicines and treatments
     - Understanding the impact of stress on family care providers.
     - Families experiencing conflict or other dysfunction.
     - Supporting the family.
5. Multiculturalism and Diversity
     - Race, ethnicity and culture.
     - Diversity of backgrounds.
     - Gender identity and sexual orientation.
     - Generational differences
     - Prejudice and discrimination.
     - Effects of culture.
     - Culture and family
     - Culture and religion
     - Cultural influences on aging and health
     - Culturally sensitive care.
6. Critical thinking and Problem-Solving.
     - Critical thinking as a caring concept.
     - Relationship between critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making.
     - Components of effective problem-solving/decision-making
     - Problem-solving in relation to time management.
     - Care planning as a problem-solving process.
     - Steps in the care planning/problem solving process:
           - Assessing – gathering information (including the client’s unique personal history, achievements, strengths, and preferences).
           - Consulting with client and health care team.
           - Establishing priorities
           - Defining the problem or care requirement.
           - Identifying the goal for care.
           - Creating an action plan.
           - Implementing the action plan.
           - Evaluating
     - Care planning process in health care settings (including residential, community, acute care)
     - Concepts of client acuity and intensity and how these factors influence the HCA’s problem-solving and decision-making
       regarding care provision and prioritization of tasks
     - Role of HCAs in planning care
     - Reporting and recording – common practices in residential, community and acute care settings, including electronic documentation.
7. Protection and Safety in Health and Healing
     - Factors affecting the need for protection and safety (health, age, lifestyle, health challenges/cognition).
     - Realities and challenges.
     - Promoting and maintaining safe environments in various health care settings (residential, community, acute care), e.g.:
           - Reporting unsafe equipment.
           - Maintaining a clutter-free environment.
           - Recognizing and reporting vermin/vectors.
     - Roles and parameters of practice in relation to safety.
     - Risk management -- definitions and approaches
     - Care plans which address safety of the client and of the HCA
     - Safety when working alone.
     - Living at risk issues: respecting the client’s choice to live at risk when an informed choice has been made.
     - Emergency and critical incidents:
           - Recognizing critical incidents
           - Recognizing situations where critical incident debriefing is warranted.
           - Recognizing appropriate actions by the HCA in response to emergency situations, for example cardiac arrest in residential and community settings.
           - Recognizing emergency codes used in acute care settings, specifically Codes Blue, White, Yellow and Red.
           - Recognizing the HCA’s role during emergency codes(activating help, assisting other team members as directed, communicating and collaborating with other team members).


Learning Outcomes:
1. Display an understanding  of person-centred care that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual:
    - Describe the characteristics and qualities of caring interactions in a variety of contexts.
    - Explain the importance of respecting the individuality, independence, autonomy, diverse values and dignity of clients and families.
    - Display an ability to view the older person as an individual possessing a wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom.
    - Discuss the components of social and community models of care as they relate to person‐centred care.
2. Discuss basic human needs and common characteristics of human development as these concepts relate to person‐centred care:
     - Describe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, explaining the importance of each level and the interrelationship of needs.
     - Conduct a needs assessment.
     - Discuss the principles of human development.
     - Describe the common characteristics and changes in the older adult.
3. Use an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and service:
     - Describe critical thinking as a caring concept.
     - Discuss the relationship between critical thinking, problem-solving and decision‐making.
     - Describe care planning as a problem‐solving process.
     - Utilize the steps of the care planning/problem-solving process.
     - Describe the role of the HCA in planning care.
     - Describe common practices for reporting and recording in various health care settings (residential, community and acute care).
4. Contribute to the safety and protection of self and others within a variety of work environments:
     - Describe individual factors affecting the need for protection and safety (health, age, lifestyle, health challenges).
     - Discuss ways of promoting and maintaining safe environments.
     - Define and describe elements of risk management.
     - Discuss care planning to promote safety of the client and of the HCA.
     - Discuss living at risk issues.
    -  Recognize emergency and critical incidents and describe appropriate steps to take during and after the incident.
5. Display an understanding of the role of family, culture, diversity and life experience in aging, health and healing:
     - Discuss changing family structures and diverse family units.
     - Describe common socio‐cultural, religious, environmental and economic influences on the family.
     - Understand the impact of stress on family care providers.
     - Identify ways care providers may support the family.
     - Describe how diversity (race, ethnicity, culture, generational differences, socio‐economic differences, religious diversity, etc.) influences an individual’s experiences of aging, health and healing.
     - Discuss components of culturally sensitive care.
     - Appreciate the potential value of traditional medicines and alternative forms of health care to the client and family.


Grading System: Percentage


Passing Grade: 75%


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