Conestoga College Logo - Home Page

Enhanced Personal Support Worker - Acute Care (Part-time)

Certificate of Achievement
Program Code:
Health & Life Sciences and Community Services

About the Program

The role of the personal support worker is beginning to flourish within all venues of the health care system. In particular there is a considerable focus on the valuable contributions that the personal support worker can bring to the acute care environment. This program is designed to prepare those currently functioning as personal support workers with the knowledge and capabilities to excel within their role as it pertains to the acute care setting. Grounded in the principles of accountability, diversity, equity and dignity, this program offers students the opportunity to work through case-based scenarios and practice integration exercises designed to embrace person-centred care, enhance skill development, excel in communication, documentation and observational assessment and analyses, and enrich problem-solving, critical thinking and self-reflective practice. In addition, innovative interactive tutorials will introduce and reinforce evidence-informed practice and collaborative team care.

Program Information

All courses must be completed within 2 years of acceptance into the program.

Note: Admission to the program is required prior to registration for courses.

Admission Requirements

Note re: Admission Requirements

Admission Procedures

How to Apply

Students may obtain a Conestoga College Program Application Form from any Conestoga College campus, OR by writing directly to the Registrar's Office, OR by using the college website at

Send completed applications to:
Conestoga College
Admissions Office
299 Doon Valley Dr
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada N2G 4M4

How to Register for Courses

Go to How to Register for detailed registration information.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.

Learn more about PLAR.

Graduate Opportunities

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website:

Program Related Resources

Program Outcomes

Program Courses

Click on the course code or title below for a full description of the course. If available for registration, clicking on "Details" in the status column will open a new browser tab or window in the Student Portal.

Course Information
Course Code Course Title Status
HEAL1810 Mental Health First Aid
Description: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved. This course aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague.
Anyone can benefit from MHFA training. It is open to members of the general public. Families affected by mental health problems, teachers, health service providers, emergency workers, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resources professionals, employers and community groups are just a few of the groups who have benefited from MHFA.
Hours: 12
Credits: 1
HEAL1895 Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA)
Description: GPA Basics is an innovative, 4-module dementia-care curriculum based on a person-centred approach to care. The curriculum is evidence-based, interactive, and practical. The program guides participants to fully understand responsive behaviours, in order to be able to respond effectively and appropriately in a workplace setting. GPA Basics also includes respectful self-protective and gentle redirection techniques for use when catastrophic behaviours do occur.
Hours: 8
Credits: 1
PSW1065 Health Promotion and Wellness
Description: This course builds upon the foundational concepts of health and wellness across the lifespan with a particular focus on the aging population. Students will examine how health care delivery and health promotion strategies are evolving and explore innovative strategies to integrate these philosophies into the acute care environment. Core principles of person-centred care, self-care/self-management, and promoting a strengths-based focus will be emphasized.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
PSW1405 Introduction to the Acute Care Environment
Description: This course will familiarize the student with the acute care environment with regards to the patient, the interdisciplinary health care team, the role of the personal support worker, and the safety resources and networks available to support patient care. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of teamwork, healthy work environments and collaborative patient care.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1065
PSW1415 Observational Assessment, Analysis and Documentation
Description: This course introduces the student to observational assessment using a holistic person-centred approach. The role of the personal support worker as it relates to analysis of findings and the importance of systematic documentation will be emphasized. Principles of documentation will be reviewed and valuable assessment tools will be explored.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1405
PSW1425 Challenged Health in the Acute Care Environment
Description: This course will review the concepts of recovery, rehabilitative and restorative care as they pertain to the acute care environment. Students will have the ability to explore case-based scenarios that correspond with common presentations in the acute care environment. In the laboratory setting students will have the ability to practice: patient assessment, documentation, critical thinking, team collaboration, conflict resolution, ostomy care, pain management, enteral nutrition, parenteral hydration and wound assessment.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1415
PSW1435 Care of the Older Adult and Family
Description: This course builds upon the principles of health promotion and disease prevention by exploring the personal support workers role in early detection and intervention strategies to avert hospital acquired complications. Students will explore evidence-informed practice resources and strategies that they could integrate into patient care with the goal of improving health outcomes and preventing common geriatric syndromes experienced by many hospitalized patients.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1425


The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College.

Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.


Program Contact

Fidelia Otokhina,, 5197485220 Ext 2410


Part-time Studies video
More videos

Success Stories

Back To Top