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What does the Supportive Care Assistant Program look like?
The program has been developed as an asynchronous on-line program with a work placement. The program is based on five main competencies that have been developed collaboratively with 14 colleges and institutes from across Canada.
The six-week online portion is composed of five modules that each student works through. Modules include: Professionalism; Client and Family-Centred Assistance; Communication; Supportive Assistance; and Infection Control and Safety. Each module will take approximately 20 hours to complete and can be done at the student’s pace.
A sixth module is focused on the student’s work placement and is worked on concurrently with the first five modules and until completion of the program. The work placement module provides the materials and resources required by the student during their work placement.
After completing the required modules, students will be connected to an employer who will provide 560 hours of paid employment over a four-month period.
Once they have successfully completed all the requirements, students will be granted a micro-certificate.
What is the difference between a supportive care assistant and a personal care provider (PSW, HCA)?
The roles are very different. The supportive care assistant role was developed as part of a work integrated training program. Students will support personal care providers (PSW, HCA) and the health care team. The role is limited to non-clinical activities such as:
- Assisting with meals
- Assisting with cleaning and disinfecting
- Stocking materials required by clients and health care staff
- Making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas
- Providing companionship, comfort, and support
- Assisting with and accompanying clients as they move about
- Participating in activities with clients
Personal care provider programs are much longer and as a result they have more responsibility and carry out more complex tasks, such as taking vital signs.
Who funded the Supportive Care Assistant Program?
The Supportive Care Assistant Program is part of a national initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. It is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and is part of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.