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Raising up Health Care Assistants this HCA Day

Posted on October 18, 2021

Person pushing wheelchair outdoors

A message from Lisa Beveridge, department head, VCC Continuing Care

Monday, Oct. 18 marks Health Care Assistant (HCA) Day in British Columbia. HCA Day was first introduced in 2011 by the B.C. government to recognize the tremendous difference that HCAs make in the lives of thousands of British Columbians who struggle with complex health challenges.

Over the years, Health Care Assistants have had many different job titles. They have been called Residential Care Aides, Home Support Workers, Long-Term Care Aides, Home Health Aides, Continuing Care Assistants, and Personal Care Attendants, yet they all provide frontline personal care and assistance to people who are unable to fully manage their own daily needs.

The creation of a provincial curriculum for Health Care Assistants, the BC Care Aid Registry, and HCA day have all helped create unity and consistency across the service areas and given these frontline workers one united name: Health Care Assistants. These developments have brought attention and support to the vital work that HCAs do in settings such as complex care, assisted living, home support, and group homes.

There are currently 38,000 registered HCAs in B.C., but over the next 10 years, WorkBC projects that over 18,000 jobs will need to be created to match the growth in the province's senior population. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the essential nature of HCAs and the growing demand for more HCA graduates. VCC’s HCA graduates have never been as valuable as they are today and the skills, ethics, and standards learned in the program will go far to improve the lives of the people we love and meet the needs of this growing demographic.

Please join VCC's School of Health Sciences in celebrating and recognizing faculty and students in the HCA program and to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication to our health care system. May they be positive agents of change, hope, and comfort to our ill, elderly, and disabled clients during these troubling times.

Working as an HCA during COVID-19

In honour of HCA Day, Choose2Care BC has created a video about the experience of HCAs working during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the 2021 proclamation for Health Care Assistant Day from the B.C. government.

Learn more about the courses and programs available at VCC to help you start your health care career.