Courses & Programs

Direct Care Worker Certificate

Rebecca Osborn Lewis

Chair, Foundations of Health

Health Sciences

Marieb 217

413.552.2426 (Tel)

what will you learn?

The Direct Care Worker Certificate prepares students to perform the responsibilities of both a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Home Health Aide (HHA). Under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Direct Care Workers help fulfill basic quality of life needs for those who need help due to illness, disability or infirmity. The certificate combines specialized training that meets both state and federal standards with academic coursework that students need to successfully compete for entry level positions in health care.


Upon completion of this degree students will be able to:

  • Identify and Explain the primary role/responsibilities of a direct care worker and how this applies to various care settings
  • Successful passage of clinical and written state exam for HTH 210 CNA course
  • Successful passage of written exam for Home Health Aide Certification
  • Identify and Apply principles of cultural competence to direct patient/person care
  • Explain the role of professionalism in health care and how it relates to patient care in both home and facility settings
  • Understand how to work with individuals with dementia and related behaviors in both home and facility settings
  • Explain the role of electronic medical records in patient care

what will you do?

Continue your education or enter the workforce! Direct Care Workers help patients with their healthcare needs in a variety of settings:

  • nursing homes
  • hospitals
  • hospices
  • adult day care centers
  • primary care
  • pediatrics
  • rehabilitation centers
  • assisted living facilities
  • patient's home

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center and at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

25 total credits

25 Program Requirements

No online courses sare available for this certificate.

This course serves as an exploration, inquiry and analysis of the complexities of cultural diversity in the United States. While cultural diversity in the U.S. tends to focus on ethnic and racial minorities, this class will not be limited to such a narrow definition and instead will discuss various forms of difference including race, class, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation and religion. This class will discuss the racial experience in America by learning about the heritage of Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans in relation to the historically dominant group, whites. Acknowledging that a class on diversity is about understanding the various forms of difference outside of race {for example, social class, religion, gender, age, ability and sexual orientation} that exist and are often ignored and/or downplayed. We will also identify how socially constructed markers of difference have been organized in U.S. society. This multilayered analysis will allow students to also explore their differences and the role of contemporary discussions of difference in defining their lives.Prerequisite: None
A study of the interpersonal and communication skills fundamental for success in the workplace. Students will hone their professional style as they study topics including professional behavior, interpersonal interactions, and civility as they relate to the workplace.
An introductory, hands-on course designed to provide an overview of microcomputer hardware and software currently available and to provide hands-on exposure to internet, e-mail, operating system, word processing spreadsheets, database and graphics applications. Students will not receive credit for CSI 111 and BUS 115. Keyboarding skills preferred, but not required.
An introduction to the field of gerontology and a review of important concepts and principles in fields related to gerontology. Perspectives on social gerontology are included, as well as the inter-relationship between the biological, psychological, and social factors influencing the aging process.
This course is for students who are exploring health careers and majors. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate and reflect on their own skills, interests and values to determine how they might shape their educational and career paths. The course will help clarify student understanding of specific careers in the field of health. The course will also provide a basic introduction of the U.S. Healthcare system, including opportunities and challenges in this system. The objective of this course is to help students decide if a career in the health field is a good fit for them and learn the educational requirements of specific health career degrees.
This course provides students with a basic understanding of Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. Changes in memory and function, communicating with people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, person-centered care, methods and approaches to care, and understanding the needs of and working with family members will all be examined using the CARES curriculum. Learning techniques such as small group discussion, interactive exercises and case studies will be used. This class was developed to meet the training requirements of 105 CMR 150.024 for students who obtain employment in a long term care facility with a dementia special care unit upon graduation. Co-Requisite for HTH 210 Field Experience Course; ENG 101 Eligible
This course presents the use of electronic health record system (EHR) in a health care setting. Students first learn the conceptual framework for the use of electronic health records in medical documentation and patient management. By working through exercises that simulate use of the EHR, students develop transferable skills needed to manage the usual software tasks for Direct Care Workers. This course assumes some basic keyboarding skills, however, practice time will also be provided to gain proficiency. This course is typically taken in the second semester of both the Direct Care Worker and Community Health Worker Certificate programs.Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the terminology of medicine and health care, based on the study of medical word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Terminology is presented according to physiologic systems. In addition to basic medical terminology, the course introduces medical abbreviations and some common pharmacological terms.
HTH 210 is an initial program for the medical profession that focuses on the development of values and principles that will be utilized in any and all areas of the medical field. Students will develop their own career path, by building on the knowledge that the patient/client/resident is a unique individual to be cared for with dignity, respect, and with full knowledge of the ethical and legal aspects of care. Students will become proficient in basic nursing assistant tasks through lecture, small group activities, practice, media, and hands-on-experience. Students will be tested for the Massachusetts Nurse Assistant Certification (state licensing exam) upon successful completion of the course. A positive CORI/SORI, Drug Test, or failure to complete immunization requirements will result in an inability to successfully complete this course. Prerequisite or Corequisites: GRT 110; Successful CORI/SORI Background check, Negative Drug Screen, and proof of immunizations required prior to course enrollment/registration. Mandatory student orientation prior to start of course. Permission of Health Services required. Additional Course Fees: CNA Licensure Exam; Drug Testing, and Malpractice Insurance (All fees subject to change.) Non Course Fees: Cori/Sori background check (out of state) and CPR
This course provides students who have already completed or are currently enrolled in HTH 210-Field Experience or a Certified Nurse's Aide equivalent course, with the additional information they need to become a Home Health Aide and work for a Home Care Agency. Students will explore the basic philosophy of home care, the role of the home health aide, and important policies and procedures when working in someone's home. Home safety, working with various home care populations, nutrition, and infection control in the home are also examined. Learning techniques such as small group discussion, interactive exercises, role play, and case studies will be used to ensure students are ready to take the home health Aide Competency Exam developed by the Home Care Aide Council.Prerequisite: HTH 210 completed previously with a grade of C- or better; or concurrently

Students must be ENG 101 eligible in order to complete this certificate.

HTH 210, Field Experience: Documentation of current successful CORI/SORI background check is required.

Criminal Offense Record Act (CORI), Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)
Foundations of Health students enrolled in the HTH 210 Field Experience or applying for selective programs are required to complete a CORI/SORI background check prior to the end of the Add/Drop period each semester. A positive finding may prevent students from successfully completing the HTH 210 Field Experience course, applying for selective programs, or graduating with a Foundations of Health degree due to clinical site requirements. The college policy can be found in the HCC Student Handbook.

Inability to attend orientation for the HTH 210 course and meet requirements for clinical orientation and placement will result in Administrative Withdrawal from HTH 210. There is a SEPARATE CORI/SORI application you must complete online if you have lived outside of the state of Massachusetts in the past 10 years; failure to disclose all relevant information may result in an inability to complete the HTH 210 course. Out of state CORI/SORI fees vary. If you have had legal issues in the past or have any legal aff airs pending, you must contact Kathy Hankel, Dean of Health and Natural Sciences.