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Personal Assistance

Course Code: DACS 2370
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Disability & Community Studies
Credits: 1.5
Semester: 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lab, Partially Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This applied lab course emphasizes support skills in personal care and health related procedures. Basic safety principles, human body systems and common health problems will also be reviewed.

Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. Safety issues are important threads that are woven throughout all theory and practice of personal assistance skills.
  2. Basic cleanliness principles are applied whenever the practitioner is performing personal assistance tasks.
  3. Proper body mechanics for the practitioner and the person who is being supported help ensure safety and comfort while performing personal assistance tasks.
  4. Health is not a state, but rather a process and continuum.  It is a resource for, not the goal of, living.
  5. Use of an organized, goal directed decision-making process enables the practitioner to apply learning to individual situations.
  6. The knowledge of the basic structure and function of human body systems and how health related conditions affect these body systems enhance the practitioner's ability to assist in meeting an individual's basic human needs.
  7. Awareness of self, values, beliefs, and limitations are integral to optimal skill development.
  8. Practitioners are responsible for conducting themselves in a legal, ethical and caring manner.
  9. Practitioners' levels of skill are enhanced by applying theoretical concepts to actual lab practice in a controlled, supervised and safe setting, with their peers.


Methods of Instruction


  • Mini lectures
  • Demonstration and practice
  • Small group learning activities


  • Mini lectures
  • Small group learning activities
  • Readings and video viewing
  • Discussion Forums

Means of Assessment

This course is graded through the mastery grading system and will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

  • Quizzes
  • Care plan
  • Skill Testing

Learning Outcomes

1. Support the self-determination of individuals receiving personal assistance through skill demonstration.

  • Respect individual privacy and autonomy
  • Seek informed consent for personal assistance activities
  • Analyze ethical limits of personal assistance practice
  • Seek feedback regarding personal assistance skill competence
  • Use touch appropriately
  • Advocate for individuals that receive support

2. Anticipate and prevent potential health problems for individuals receiving personal assistance.

  • Apply knowledge, critical thinking and analytic reasoning in health care planning
  • Assess each individual and situation using critical thinking and a decision making process
  • Use knowledge of wellness and body systems to provide timely and appropriate assistance
  • Explore disability and aging and the implications for providing personal assistance
  • Communicate with team members regarding changes in assistance situation
  • Consult and refer when appropriate

3. Demonstrate proper safety awareness while supporting other’s personal care.

  • Wash hands and use principles of cleanliness when providing personal assistance
  • Use proper body mechanics while moving self and others
  • Explain legal limits of personal assistance practice
  • Report and record safety and health concerns
  • Explain the use and maintenance of personal assistance aids and equipment

4. Provide individualized personal assistance to others.

  • Consider how the major principles of personal assistance are incorporated into each skill
  • Review and practice steps in personal assistance procedures
  • Adapt procedures to suit the individual and situation, using a decision making process and the Basic Principles of Care
  • Demonstrate competence in 5-10 personal assistance skills, such as: positioning and transferring, medication administration, vital signs, assistance with elimination, bathing, etc.

course prerequisites




curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.