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Medication basics (CACC 190)


Course Name



Medication Basics for HCAs


Course Description


This fully on-line course is intended for Health Care Assistants (HCAs), or prospective HCAs in British Columbia (BC). The course covers content from the BC Health Care Assistant Provincial Curriculum Guide (2015) related to the HCA’s role in assisting with medications.


This course prepares students to provide assistance with medications, but does not meet the requirements for Health Care Assistants to administer medications in Assisted Living settings. Students interested in administering medication in Assisted Living settings should register in the Certificate in Medication Administration for Health Care Assistants program (CACC 200 and CACC 210).



Subject Code


CACC 190



Learning Objectives


By the end of this course, student will be able to

  • provide assistance with medications within the parameters of the HCA role;
  • assess the client and situation prior to commencing care; and
  • assist with medications for clients who are able to direct their own care.










There are no formal prerequisites for this course. However, completion of English 12 with a minimum grade of “C” or LPI score of 4 or equivalent is assumed. Students who register are understood to be confirming successful completion of this expectation.



Course Content


Topics covered include:

  • complying with legal/employer defined parameters of practice for HCA roles
  • collaborating with other members of the health team
  • using appropriate lines of communication
  • adhering to the client’s care plan
  • assessing the client and situation prior to commencing care
  • assisting vs. administering in relation to parameters of practice
  • roles and responsibilities, legal implications of actions
  • observing client for untoward effects
  • general types of medications
  • common abbreviations used with medications
  • label reading
  • critical “rights” of assisting with medications
  • individual’s right to refuse medication
  • assisting with
  • oral medications
  • eye medications
  • transdermal medications
  • metered dose inhalers
  • topical application of ointments and creams
  • documentation



Learning Resources



All required resources will be provided within the course.

The primary resource used is Mosby’s Canadian Textbook for the Support Worker (4th Canadian Edition). It is available through the Douglas College Bookstore for anyone wishing to order a copy. It may also be available at public college libraries throughout BC where the Health Care Assistant Program is offered. This textbook is used by HCA programs throughout BC, and most of Canada. It is a good resource for anyone working as an HCA in BC.



Instruction Method


Interactive online course, delivered through Blackboard.


Due to the nature of an online delivery, the student will be expected be proficient in computer skills including email, adding attachments, navigating the internet etc. Resources for getting started with Blackboard are available online to help get the student comfortable in the Blackboard environment.





Students will complete short quizzes and assignments throughout the course.





Students are assessed on a Mastery/Non-Mastery basis.


Successful course completion proven with official transcript request.



Completion Timeframe


Two (2) months (7 hours) from course start date



Registration and course start


Registration is easy: simply call CE Registration at 604-527-5472 and quote the CRN (below) for the session you are interested in. Payment of the tuition fee must accompany registration.


Instructions on how to access your course materials will be emailed to you by the Program Assistant within five (5) business days prior to your chosen course start date.


Start Date CRN Registration Deadline
Sep 9, 2019 31200 Aug 30, 2019
Oct 7, 2019 31200 Sep 27, 2019
Nov 4, 2019 31200 Oct 25, 2019
Dec 2, 2019 31200 Nov 22, 2019

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