Ontario College Graduate Certificate
1 Year



Palliative care professionals provide essential support to patients and their families with a focus on improving quality of life for people living with a serious, sometimes critical illness. Fanshawe [email protected]’s Palliative Care graduate studies program provides students with the training required to support the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of patients who are experiencing a transition in health care.

This is an intensive program that deals with the very sensitive stage of life
where individuals and families/supports are dealing with emotions and plans
around the death and dying of a loved one. Prospective students should be
prepared to manage and reflect on their own experiences, beliefs and values
around the care of loved ones in the final stages of life.

Start Dates

Program Code





Program Highlights

This one-year (two semester) Palliative Care graduate certificate program is designed for international students who are graduates of community studies and healthcare programs and are interested in working with palliative individuals. In this program, students will enhance their foundational knowledge, learn practical skills and engage in exercises that will benefit not only the student’s professional practice but also the palliative individual.

Using state-of-the-art experiential options, graduates will combine the elements of this graduate program with their own educational foundation to provide a more comprehensive, compassionate, holistic approach to enhance the quality of life for palliative individuals and their family. This program will be delivered primarily face-to-face.


Level 1

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

This is the second of two practical courses offered in the ANA2 curriculum. This course allows the student the opportunity to further develop and demonstrate competency of the topics addressed in HLTH6034, HLTH6035 and HLTH6036 in a controlled simulated laboratory environment utilizing high-fidelity simulation that encourages critical thinking and team-based management. The student will progress within the Psychomotor Taxonomy up to and including the intermediate stage where responses become habitual and performance is effective and proficient. In addition, the student will conscientiously ensure that their practice falls within professional legal boundaries along with continued enhancement of concepts pertaining to professionalism, communication, problem-solving and health and safety.

Effective communication is essential to all aspects of care. Students will develop skills, strategies, and techniques of communication, to practice in an effective, empathetic professional manner with the palliative person, their family, and the care team. Students will explore strategies to overcome communication challenges. Through theory, group work, students will enhance the proficiency of communication within their disciplines and with the individuals personally involved in the dynamic journey of palliative care.

Treating the “whole” person through addressing the emotional, social, cultural, spiritual, and physical needs of the palliative individual. Students will explore trauma informed knowledge to enhance their holistic care for the palliative individual, their family. Students will learn and explore these concepts through theory, group work, case studies and apply them to support the planning of care for the palliative individual. Students will learn to evaluate planning of care, along with interdisciplinary team collaboration, how to apply the transitional changes and challenges experienced by the palliative individual to the development of new care planning. Students will explore strategies to manage stresses, both physical and emotional, into practice to maintain the dignity and holistic approach that support the dynamic journey of palliative care.

Diverse cultural ideals regarding death, dying and grief will be explored. Students will develop a better understanding and awareness of palliation as it applies to cultural diversity, the differing ages of those requiring palliative care and its effects on our multicultural society. Critical thinking skills will be practiced through case studies and group work encompassing the importance of respect, reflection, application of cultural diversity in planning care and practicing as part of an interdisciplinary care team. Understanding of culture and diversity will assist in assessing the challenges and benefits of holistic care, not only for the palliative individual but also their family and care givers.

Grief and death are part of life. Personal experience influences how that is perceived. Students will explore the physiological, psychological, social aspects of death, dying, bereavement and its effects on the palliative individual and their family. Students will learn the differences in grief and bereavement of an expected death and an unexpected death. Students will learn the evolving roles they have in developing and supporting the individuals and family as they transition through the palliative journey. Through self-reflection, class work and theory, students will explore how culture, spirituality, diversity in ages of palliative individuals influence the palliative care experience for all involved including the care provider. Students will learn strategies for self-care and processing the palliative experience.

Palliative care is dynamic in nature. Students will explore palliative care as it applies to the palliative individual dependent on their stage of life, from pediatric to geriatric. This course will explore how to assess, communicate, collaborate, and tailor the deliver care and support to the palliative individual based on their age. Students will examine their roles in therapeutic relationships based on the stage of life and the anticipated responses to death of the palliative individual they are caring for. Students will learn and incorporate strategies of coping for health care professionals, the palliative individual, and families into their practice.

This course is designed to support student success in Level 1 of the Palliative Care graduate certificate program. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition and mastery of Palliative care specific terminology, academic research skills, critical thinking, and effective interprofessional communication skills, both oral and written.

Introduction to Research Essentials provides the foundational knowledge and skills for students to enhance their research literacy proficiency. This course will prepare students with the theory and skills required for direct application toward successful completion of the Capstone Research Project associated with Level 2. This course encourages a culture of evidence informed decision making to be used throughout their professional career. Key course components include an introduction to research ethics and design, practical methods to search for and evaluate credible literary sources, as well as basic skills for critiquing and reviewing the literature. Student roles and responsibilities with a community partner organization will be examined in preparation for the Capstone Research Project in Level 2. Students will have an opportunity to develop a timely and realistic research project proposal related to a relevant issue in Palliative Care.

Level 2

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

This course is designed to support student success in Level 2 of the Palliative Care graduate certificate program. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition and mastery of program-specific terminology, academic research skills, critical thinking, and effective interprofessional communication skills, both oral and written.

Students will explore the concepts, perception, and management of pain. Students will learn management techniques in both pharmacological and non-pharmacological options to address pain. Firsthand practical skills and equipment needed for management of pain, nutrition, dignity, and overall well-being will be practiced. Through case studies, group participation and practical application students will explore achieving a state of well-being for the palliative individual for their everchanging palliative experiences.

Exploration of the principles of legal, ethical conduct, types of consent and decision-making processes of palliative care will provide the foundation for difficult discussions with the palliative individual and their family. Beliefs and values of palliative individuals will be integrated along with their rights, cultural, generational, and spiritual needs when planning care. Through theory and case studies ethical dilemmas, the effect of personal beliefs that arise in palliative care will be discussed and reflected upon. Strategies of having difficult conversations of relevant palliative care topics will be practiced ensuring all parties involved are being cared for holistically.

Philosophy and basic skills involved in differing health profession disciplines will be explored as necessities of functioning as a member of an interprofessional team. This interprofessional collaboration is a key component of successful palliative care. Students will examine relevant concepts such as therapeutic relationships, interview types, team dynamics. Building on communication, relationships and cultural diversity learned in Term 1, the regulations and expectations of respective disciplinary bodies will be further explored. Challenges in team dynamics will be examined within group activities to illustrate the need for cohesive, effective interprofessional collaboration when providing care to the palliative individual.

Leadership theories and styles will be introduced. Through interactive application of these differing ideas, the effect on the delivery of care will be examined and evaluated. Areas such as personality, interpersonal communication, cultural understanding, emotional intelligence, and self-care will be applied through in class and group work to foster the improvement of palliative care as a complete process. Professional organizations associated with Palliative Care will be explored to further highlight the array of possibilities for areas of care within or outside the student’s professional disciplines.

In this course, students will work in interprofessional teams to identify and investigate a community need or gap within Palliative care. Working collaboratively, students will examine current research to determine the most appropriate solution based on exemplary and ethical practices in Palliative care. This capstone project will allow the team to create a solution suitable for implementation within the community. Students will present the results of their analysis including the solution to peers and affiliated agency(s). A final report will be submitted summarizing all facets of the project, as well as limitations encountered within one’s scope of practice.

Cumulative palliative care skills and concepts learned throughout will be physically practiced in a simulation setting. Through interactive cases with standardized patients, virtual reality (VR), working equipment and manikins, students will experience an immersive practical experience. Students will actively participate in evolving case scenarios that will focus on a variety of skills and communication applications. Post participation of these simulated experiences students will participate in a debrief session where they can safely without judgment reflect on their personal views of the experience, receive feedback from patients, family, and faculty. These scenarios are an opportunity to gain experience, practice skill and receive feedback to apply to the student’s practice in palliative care.


Have questions? We are here to help!