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Programs of Study

Health Care Technician

Career Studies Certificate

PURPOSE: The Health Care Technician Career Studies Certificate is designed to provide entry-level training for nurse aides and occupational progression to advanced nurse aide employment.  Coursework includes preparation for employment and career mobility from patient care assistant, to nurse aide, and ultimately to advanced nurse aide.  This program prepares students for the Virginia Board of Nursing's occupational exams for nurse aide.

OCCUPATIONAL OBJECTIVES: The program includes basic and advanced training for persons seeking to become nurse aides or home health aides working in private homes, residential living facilities, nursing homes, retirement and life care communities, and hospitals.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: General college curricular admission

PROGRAM NOTES: 

  • To become a patient care assistant, a student must satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS).
  • To become a certified nurse aide, a student must satisfactorily complete HCT 101 and HCT 102 and pass a national exam that includes both written and practical components.
  • To become certified as an advanced nurse aide, the student must have the CNA credential for at least three (3) years, a recommendation from a licensed nursing professional (LPN or RN), evidence of no restrictions on CNA certification by the Virginia Board of Nursing for the last five (5) years; and a recommendation for advanced certification from a licensed nurse who has supervised the applicant in providing direct patient care for at least six (6) months within the past year.
  • The State Board of Nursing has the authority to deny certification to any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of 54.1-3007 of the Code of Virginia. Any student entering the nursing aide course who has committed any illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the program head prior to admission for clarification (see information above).
  • Students must have an
    • American Heart Association CPR BLS for the Healthcare Professional certification;
    • Ability to pass a background check and drug screen (see the Program Information Packet for additional details related to barrier crimes and moral turpitude); and
    • Ability to meet functional health and immunization requirements.
  • Students will be required to repeat any course in which a grade lower than "C" is received. Students will have two (2) attempts to complete a course.
  • Criminal background checks are required of all applicants to the Health Care Technician program.
  • Inability of a student to be placed in a clinical site due to a negative background check will result in failure in the course.

PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM:  Students must have a "C" or better in all courses to progress in the Health Care Technician program. 

The college offers this program in affiliation with the healthcare agencies and practitioners in the communities the college serves. The college relies on its community affiliates to provide clinical education opportunities for its students, expert clinical preceptors, and course instructors for many courses. The often rapid changes in healthcare law, standards of practice, technology, and content of credentialing examinations increasingly necessitate sudden changes in the program’s course content, policies, procedures, and course scheduling. As a result, the college cannot guarantee every student continuous and uninterrupted clinical and course instruction as outlined in the printed catalog curriculum for this program. Circumstances beyond the control of the college may necessitate the postponement of course offerings or changes in the sequencing and/or location of scheduled courses or clinical assignments. Additionally, the college may have to change the instructor for courses after instruction has started.

PRE-ENTRANCE HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be free of any physical or mental condition that might adversely affect safety and performance as a nurse. Current validation of freedom from tuberculosis is required of all students through skin testing or chest X-ray.  Health care agencies may require vaccination for the flu or use of a mask when providing patient care.

PRE-ENTRANCE MATH AND ENGLISH REQUIREMENTS:  Competency in MTE 1 or higher as demonstrated through the placement and diagnostic tests or by completing MTE 1; competencies in reading and writing as demonstrated by placement in ENG 111 or placement in co-requisites ENG 111 and ENF 3 or completion of ENF 2.

FUNCTIONAL SKILLS REQUIREMENT: Students entering the Health Care Technician program must have the physical ability to 1) aid in the lifting and moving of patients; 2) hear audible alarms and sounds; 3) auscultate certain physical parameters, such as blood pressure and heart and lung sounds; and 4) interact effectively with patients, families, and health care team members. This includes the following:

  1. Sufficient eyesight to observe patients, read records, manipulate equipment, and visually monitor patients in dim light.
  2. Sufficient hearing to communicate with patients and members of a health care delivery team, monitor patients using electronic equipment, hear necessary sounds during operation of equipment, and hearing a patient whispering.
  3. Satisfactory speaking, reading, and writing skills to effectively communicate in English in a timely manner.
  4. Sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to manipulate equipment, lift, stoop, or bend in the delivery of safe nursing care.
  5. Satisfactory physical strength and endurance to be on one’s feet for extended periods and to move immobile patients.
  6. Satisfactory intellectual and emotional functioning to ensure patient safety and to exercise independent judgment and discretion in performing assigned tasks.

Clinical facilities used by the program may mandate additional requirements for students that include updated immunizations, dress codes, and conformance with professional standards.

GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION: Please see reynolds.edu/curriculum/gainful-employment/ge_info_221-190-06.aspx to access gainful employment disclosure information for this program.

CURRICULUM:

COURSE

TITLE

LEC.
HRS.

LAB.
HRS.

CRS.
CRE.

HLT 1051

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

1

0

1

SDV 100

College Success Skills

1

0

1

NUR 252,4
or

Nursing Assistant (Patient Care Assistant)
or

2

4

3

HCT 1013,4

and

HCT 1023,4

Health Care Technician I (Nurse Aide I)

and

Health Care Technician II (Nurse Aide II)

3

 

1

0

 

6

3

 

4

HCT 110

Therapeutic Communication in the Health Care Setting

3

0

3

BIO 100

Basic Human Biology

3

0

3

NUR 265,6,7,8

Nursing Assistant (Aide) Advanced

2

3

3

NUR 316,7,8

Advanced Skills for Nurse Aides

1

6

3

TOTAL

13-15

13-15

17-219

Total Minimum Credits for Career Studies Certificate in Health Care Technician 179

03.11.15

1 Must be American Heart Association BLS level or above.

2 Students completing HLT 105 (or holding a CPR for the Health Care Provider card) and NUR 25 are eligible to work as a Patient Care Assistant (PCA).  Employment as a PCA means that your employer may receive Medicare Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) reimbursement for your services.

3 Must be able to pass background check and drug screen; HCT 101 and HCT 102 must be taken concurrently.

4 NUR 25 is not required to enroll in HCT 101 or HCT 102.

5 Students enrolling in NUR 26 must have a VBON Certified Nurse Aide Certificate, three (3) years’ experience, and a recommendation from an RN who has supervised them for at least six (6) months. Students who meet these criteria will receive credit-by-able for HCT 101 and HCT 102.

6 Students enrolled in NUR 26 can take NUR 31 as a co-requisite.

7 Students enrolled in NUR 26 and NUR 31 must meet with the program head prior to enrollment.

8 Students enrolled in NUR 31 must have either completed NUR 26 with a “C” or better or be co-enrolled in NUR 26.

9 Total program credits are variable depending on whether the student completes NUR 25 (3 credits) or HCT 101 and 102 (7 credits).