Becoming a Health Care Aide in Winnipeg: Training, Employment Forecast & Key Skills

A health care aide student from Herzing College practices patient care procedures

Health care aides deliver compassionate, supportive care to elderly patients and people challenged by physical or cognitive disabilities.

They work in long term care facilities, hospitals, and in the home, helping patients remain as independent and comfortable as possible through  assistance with daily tasks, simple medical procedures, and companionship.

Health care aides make an enormous difference in their patients' overall quality of life. They give families peace of mind and fulfill a vital role within the healthcare team.

If you are considering becoming a health care aide in Winnipeg, your best first step is to learn more about the training process, and whether there is demand for the occupation in your area.

This post will walk you through the main features of a reputable health care aide diploma program, key traits and skills needed for this profession, and the most recent government employment data for health care aides in Winnipeg.

What to Expect From Health Care Aide Programs in Winnipeg

Health care aide training covers both the practical aspects of patient care, and some of the social and psychological factors that influence care-giving. Students can expect to complete coursework that includes some or all of the following topics and themes:

Anatomy and Physiology: body systems and structures; medical terminology; and simple laboratory tasks

Social Awareness and Human Development: fundamentals of human physical, cognitive, and emotional development; ethical and social issues that impact care-giving; end-of-life care; substance abuse; religion and culture; communicating with patients' families

Health Care Procedures and Practices: nutrition and meal-planning; infection control; safety checks; delivering patient care in the home versus a facility; positioning and transferring patients; bathing and hygiene; assisting with prescribed therapeutic activities

Most health care aide programs in Winnipeg can be completed in six months or less, and include an internship or co-op placement. The internship typically runs for six to eight weeks, and may expose students to a variety of work environments, such as a home care setting, long-term care or respite facility, or hospital.

Admission requirements for Winnipeg health care aide programs generally include:

  • Canadian high school diploma, or equivalent
  • Entrance test administered by the college
  • Personal interview
  • Proof of English language proficiency (for international applicants, or those educated outside of Canada)
  • Health and immunization record

It is important to note that many of the facilities and organizations that provide internships to students require a criminal check. Students with criminal records, or who are listed on the Adult Abuse Registry or Child Abuse Registry may not be able to complete the practicum portion of the health care aide program. It is recommended that students ask an admissions officer about these potential restrictions before enrolling.

Becoming a health care aide in Winnipeg

Health care aide students practise getting into and out of protective gear (Herzing Winnipeg campus)

Key Traits of Exceptional Health Care Aides

What sets truly effective health care aides apart? Which key traits help them improve the lives of patients and their families? While good quality training is of course essential to helping students build core skills and knowledge, there are certain traits exceptional health care aides bring to the table, and continue strengthening throughout their career. These include:

  • empathy, patience, and compassion
  • deep respect for people of all cultures, ages, and backgrounds
  • strong sense of ethics, justice, and the protection of vulnerable people
  • grace under pressure, adaptable
  • detail-oriented and an ability to remember and follow steps/procedures
  • friendly but firm communication style
  • sense of humour
  • resilience, determination
  • effective stress-management and self-care skills

Becoming a health care aide in Winnipeg -

Herzing health care aide students volunteer at Siloam Mission, sorting items for sale and helping in the kitchen 

Employment Forecast for Health Care Aides in Winnipeg

In December 2016, the Government of Canada Job Bank published its most recent data on employment outlook for a wide range of occupations, across all of the provinces and territories.

The profession of health care aide received the Job Bank's highest rating for employability—a 3/3 star rating for demand across most of the country, including Manitoba and Winnipeg. What is driving growth for this occupation? The primary contributing factors are an aging population with escalating health care needs (in particular home and palliative care); and a large number of expected retirements, which will create demand for newly trained health care aides.

Research shows that trends are moving steadily toward college certification for health care aides in Manitoba. Currently, only 9% of professionals employed in this occupation are working without a diploma. The vast majority, 61%, hold a college or trades diploma (or a university certificate below a bachelor degree).

Ready to take the next step in becoming a health care aide in Winnipeg? Looking for trustworthy training near you?

Consider the Health Care Aide program offered by Herzing College in Winnipeg. Training takes just 5 months to complete, includes an 8-week internship, and has a 100% graduate employment rate.

Visit the program page for a list of health care aide courses, career options, or to chat live with a knowledgeable advisor. We're here to help!

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