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Why Health Care Aide Training is a Smart Career Move

February 6, 2019

As the Canadian population ages, the demand for qualified healthcare professionals continues to increase. Health care aides are among this group of professionals in high demand. The below points seek to answer key questions about the job descriptions of health aides and outline why entering this field is a smart career move.

What does a health care aide do?

Health care aides provide essential services to patients who are ill, physically and mentally disabled, elderly, or in many cases, in need of end-of-life care. The duties of health care aides are centred around providing patients with the daily care they need to live dignified and comfortable lives. Examples of these responsibilities include:

    • Hygiene maintenance 
      – this involves assisting with bathing, dressing, grooming, visiting the washroom, and other personal activities.

    • Feeding
      – health care aides are often responsible for supporting their patients in basic activities such as eating and hydrating throughout the day.

    • Delivering medications
      – it’s often the responsibility of health care aides to support patients in taking their medications as well as monitoring any changes in the patient’s’ reaction certain medications.

    • Mobility needs 
      – many of the clients health care aides are tasked with caring for lack basic motor skills or are in need of support from mobility devices such as a walker or wheelchair. The health care aide is usually the health care professional who assists patients in and out of their mobility devices as well as supports with basic physical maneuvers, like getting in and out of a bathtub.

    • Relaying information to other healthcare professionals
      – because health care aides often spend more time with patients than other health care professionals, it’s important they closely monitor any changes in their patient’s condition in order to relay updates to nurses, doctors and other professionals.

 

 

Where can a health care aide work?

Health care aides conduct their work in a variety of facilities such as palliative care wards, retirement communities, assisted living homes, and other environments where patients require everyday care and supervision. Throughout your career as a health care aide, you will have the opportunity to work in different settings and determine the type of facility that best accommodates your interests and aspirations of upward mobility.

How much do health care aides make?

According to PayScale, a person starting out as a health care aide in Alberta makes approximately $17.50 per hour. This figure can fluctuate drastically depending on your experience level, your employer, as well as the province you live in.

Is health care aide a good career?

In addition to the fact that health care aides are in high demand, there are a number of reasons why this profession is desirable. Here is list of 5 reasons training to become a health care aide is a smart career move:

 

  • Impacting Lives:
    It goes without saying that healthcare professionals of all varieties impact the lives of their patients. Whether it’s a doctor performing a life-saving surgery or a registered massage therapist relieving a patient from chronic back pain, the health care professionals in our lives make an important impact on our well being. As a health care aide, you will work more intimately with patients than most healthcare professionals because you will interact and care for your patients on a daily basis. This means you will establish personal relationships with your clients and their families and learn about their unique likes and dislikes in order to provide the best possible care. Because the individuals in your care will grow accustomed to your regular presence, you will have the ability to make an impact on their lives in small ways, every day.

  • Not Your Average Desk Job:
    We’ve all heard about the long-term health complications that sitting at a desk all day can create. As a health care aide, you won’t have to worry about this problem because your profession requires that you are constantly on the move attending to patient’s needs. Many health care aides feel this is one of the most intriguing components of the job because it makes their working days go by quickly and provides them with the energy they need to live full and happy lives. Take a health care aide working in a supportive care facility — their mornings may consist of visiting patients and supporting with various responsibilities like dressing, using the washroom and other hygiene-related tasks, while their afternoons could consist of delivering medications and leading stretching workshops. Clearly, this type of work is highly mobile and patient-centric as opposed to your average desk job.  

  • Solid Platform for Other Career Moves:
    Health care aide training is a smart career move because this profession is a fantastic jumping-off point for other healthcare work you may be interested in pursuing down the road. For example, graduates of Robertson’s Health Care Aide Diploma Program have worked as health care aides and then moved on to new professions in the field such as recreational therapists or even registered nurses. The key takeaway here is that your job as a health care aide will allow you to connect with health care professionals of all varieties, providing you with valuable insight into prospective career moves.

  • Different Work Environments:
    As mentioned above, health care aides conduct their work in a variety of facilities, meaning they have the flexibility to change up their working environment at different points in their career. This is a huge asset to many professionals who appreciate change and the opportunity for new scenery within their working lives.  

  • High-Demand Profession:
    Before you start your studies in any field it’s always good to look into the feasibility of being employed within your chosen industry after you graduate. We’ve touched on this point already but it’s worth repeating. An aging Canadian population means that more jobs are being created within the healthcare industry, and health care aides, in particular, are in high demand. Health care aides are uniquely positioned to support with a range of tasks in any care facility, which allows individuals within this field to support other healthcare professionals with their responsibilities.

 

What do you need to be a health care aide?

While different post-secondary institutions have different entrance requirements for their health care aide diploma program, here are a few standard prerequisites many schools require:

  • High school diploma or high school equivalency such as a GED
  • English proficiency test – for students who graduated from high school outside of Canada, you may be required to take some kind of English proficiency test to demonstrate you’re capable of working in English

Aside from the above prerequisites, you should also consider the soft skills that health care aides need to posses, such as communication skills, patience, compassion, attention to detail, and an overall desire to help clients and their families navigate challenging circumstances.

After reading the above 5 points, we hope you have a strong understanding of the reasons why health care aide training is a smart career move. At Robertson, our Health Care Aide Diploma Program provides hands-on, comprehensive instruction lead by industry professionals and features a 4-week practicum to equip students with real-world training. With multiple program start dates throughout the year, you’ll be able to find a time to learn that fits within your existing schedule. Reach out to an admissions advisor today for more information on this program and other certification offered through our health programs and courses.

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