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Enhanced Personal Support Worker - Palliative/End-of-Life Care (Part-time)

Certificate of Achievement
Program Code:
Health & Life Sciences

About the Program

Develop enhanced capabilities required to excel in the delivery of supportive palliative/end-of-life care. As essential team members in our evolving health care system, personal support workers who complete this certificate will be equipped with enhanced capabilities to function as leaders in the delivery of integrated palliative/end-of-life care excellence. This program is comprised of seven courses that emphasize learning and growth in the following areas: communication and relational skills, holistic and individualized approaches to supportive care, role optimization within the contexts of person- and family-centred care, and interprofessional collaborative delivery models. Leadership and professionalism will be emphasized as essential foundations to the practice of quality palliative/end-of-life 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

Examine the role, responsibilities and accountabilities of the personal support worker as they relate to the provision of high-quality, safe and ethical care for a person and family experiencing a life-limiting illness.
Contribute as an integral member of the interprofessional health care team as it relates evidence- informed practice and risk assessment to enhance patient safety and to improve direct patient care.
Employ enhanced skills related to professionalism, communication and leadership with respect to care decisions, accountability, and team collaboration/consultation to improve continuity of care and enhance the patient and family care experience.
Explore innovative evidence-informed strategies to promote person- and family-centred care, to improve quality of life, and to enrich patient and family care thereby optimizing comfort and dignity.
Demonstrate enhanced problem-solving, critical thinking, observational assessment, analysis, and documentation skills within the personal support worker's role and responsibilities.
Develop accountability for own actions while recognizing boundaries of knowledge and skills in accordance with role and responsibilities, applicable legislation and employer expectations.

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
PSW1570 Introduction to Palliative/End-of-Life Care
Description: This course will explore death and dying in the context of society. It will introduce learners to palliative/end-of-life care, including the underpinning principles and the emergence of this approach over the course of recent history. Holistic approaches to the care of the dying person and family will be emphasized. Emerging trends and issues will be explored.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
PSW1575 Life-Limiting Illness Across the Lifespan
Description: Using a lifespan approach, this course will examine the trajectory of life-limiting illnesses. Students will learn about common diagnoses, prognosis, treatments and procedures as they relate to the person's quality of life and death.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1570
PSW1580 Pain and Symptom Management in the Context of Life-Limiting Illness
Description: This course will emphasize the importance of initiating and maintaining holistic care measures to promote comfort of the dying person, including mouth care, bathing, personalized meal planning, repositioning, use of mobility aids and creating/maintaining a comfortable environment. Anticipating and managing potential complications using non-pharmacological interventions will be explored.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1575
PSW1585 Supportive Care for the Person and Family
Description: This course deepens the learners understanding of authentic therapeutic relationships within the context of death, dying and diversity. A person- and family-centered approach will be emphasized as foundational to developing and implementing an individualized plan of care in partnership with the interprofessional team.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1580
PSW1590 Medications at End-of-Life
Description: This course prepares the personal support worker with the foundational knowledge of commonly prescribed medications for the older adult at end-of-life while providing comprehensive palliative/end-of-life care in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team.
Hours: 21
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites: PSW1585


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

Denise Van Dalen,, 519-748-5220 ext. 8111

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