$19.35 to $24.46 per hour
Health care aide certificate
Health care aides (also known as HCAs) are valued members of the health-care team. Health care aides provide personal assistance and support services for people who are ill, elderly, or have a disability, and those who require short-term assistance or ongoing support. They work with patients who have chronic and/or complex medical conditions, physical or cognitive disabilities, or who require end-of-life care. Health care aides are also known as nursing attendants (also known as NAs), home support aides, home support workers or residential support workers.
Health care aides provide essential and important daily living support and comfort to patients, clients and residents. They assist with bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting and other personal hygiene activities. They may help patients/residents with feeding, mobility and exercise as needed.
Health care aides must be able to speak, read, write, and comprehend the English language well enough to follow directions and communicate effectively with patients/residents and their team members. They report on their observations and communicate concerns to nurses and other licensed health care professionals.
At times, health care aides provide work guidance to other health care aides and students. They also interact with patient family members and caregivers. The demand for health care aides continues to grow as an important and necessary role in delivering health care in Alberta, making it a great career choice.
Health care aides work in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, continuing care facilities and within patient/client home settings. They can work as residential care aides, mental health aides, home health aides, psychiatric aides and client care assistants. Health care aides work collaboratively with nursing professionals and other members of the overall health care team.
Health care aides may work full-time or part-time hours, or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening, night, weekend and holiday shifts, as well as on-call duty.
Health care aides are on their feet for much of their work day. Many work in environments that require varying levels of physical exertion to transfer patients, use and move equipment and provide personal care. Health care aides require patience and understanding because their patients may have mental or emotional challenges, in addition to physical limitations.