Palliative Care - Multidiscipline - 017

Ontario College Certificate
Student talking to senior women patient in bed

Gain the knowledge and expertise to provide palliative care!

Palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for those who are living with, and/or dying from, a progressive life-limiting illness.

Palliative caregivers must have a strong sense of empathy, exceptional communication skills, and the ability to work well independently as well as in a team environment.

Combining theory and hands-on practice, learn to assist patients and their families in addressing physical, cultural, psychosocial, social, spiritual and practical issues. Gain the skills to properly assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care in both normal and complex palliative situations.

The curriculum is based on standards of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Nurse Association.

You do not need to apply to begin this program, simply ensure you meet the admission requirements (listed on the Admission & Registration tab) and then you may register for any available courses.

If you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!


Preclinical / Clinical Information

Students preparing for Clinical Placement should visit our Preclinical / Clinical webpage and our Clinical FAQ for details and information on the process.

Program Contact
Continuing Education Health and Nursing
  • Must be regulated/certified health care professional (e.g. RN, RPN, OT/PT, Social Worker, Dietician, Physician, etc.).


You do not need to apply to begin this program. Start by ensuring you meet the admission requirements listed above and then register for the courses listed in the Program of Studies when they are offered.  Some courses have prerequisites, so please check the Program of Studies for details. Find out how to register for a course.

The program of studies displayed below applies to students starting the program in the 2019/20 academic year. Students who began in other academic years may require different courses to be eligible to graduate. If you have questions regarding a strategy for completion contact Continuing Education - Health and Nursing 

Click on the Course number or Course title for more information on each course.

Visit the Mohawk College Bookstore Textbook Search (opens in new window) for information on textbooks.

A selection of courses are available each term. Courses that are currently not available (N/A) for registration may be offered in the future – check back frequently.

Mandatory Courses

Register Course number Course title Course Hours
Course description: Enhance your knowledge and develop skills in working with clients/caregivers in a hospice palliative care setting. The placement is tailored to your identified learning needs. Mohawk College Medical Clearance is required.
Credits: 2
Prerequisites: COMM10084 and HSCI10082 and HSCI10083 and HMNS10016 and HMNS10017 and HLTH10223
Equivalents: CLIN10033
Course description: Focus on enhanced interpersonal and counselling skills required for the unique patient care provider relationship and the family-care provider partnership. Explore the importance of communication in facilitating informed decision-making and enabling the patient, family and loved ones to exercise a measure of control.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HSCIHZA69
Course description: This course examines the modern experience of grief, bereavement and loss.  Models of grief are investigated in the context of end of life issues.  Concepts such as anticipatory grief, complicated grief, depression within grief, grief in the family system, and grieving over the life span are examined.  Bereavement and mourning practices are discussed from perspectives of culture, family, life stages, and the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals, their families and caregivers.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HSCIHZA69
Course description: Discuss ethics, ethical decision making and legal issues as relates to Palliative Care. Interdisciplinary and collaborative practice between the palliative care team and the family will be a focus. Advocacy for the rights of the person with advanced illness and their family will be discussed. Professional development, research and education for the palliative care professional will be examined.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HSCIHZA69
Course description: The Square of Care, as outlined in 'A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care' (2002) identifies pain as a major physical issue faced by the palliative patient and family. Regulated health care professionals, such as nurses, need to understand the concept of total pain, the physiology of pain, the assessment of pain and how to manage the pain. The focus during discussion will be that of interdisciplinary collaboration, communication and education.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HSCIHZA69
Course description: Manage the multitude of symptoms experienced by the palliative patient which is overwhelming for care providers. A major focus for this course is assessment of symptoms by body systems with appropriate and flexible care plan development. Communication, education and collaboration are threads integrated into discussion.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: HSCIHZA69
Course description: Hospice palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with, or dying from, advanced illness or are bereaved. Palliative care is a special kind of health care for individuals and families who are living with a life-limiting illness that is usually at an advanced stage. The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with the illness as well as the best quality of life for both this person and his or her family. A family is whoever the person says his or her family is. This course is intended for health care professionals, the curriculum is based on standards of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Nurses Association.
Credits: 3
Course Availability Fall Winter Spring
Palliative Care - Introduction   X     X    
Communication and Informed Decision Making   X    
Loss, Grief & End of Life Issues      X  
Professional Issues and Advocacy      X  
Pain Management  X      X
Symptom Management  X      X
Field Practicum  X    X    X

Successful completion of the Palliative Care Certificate Program will enable the graduate to:

  • Use specialized knowledge & skills to provide safe, competent care to the palliative care population and their families within scope of practice
  • Discuss the psychosocial, cultural, ethical & political influences on palliative care
  • Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care in both normal and complex palliative care situations within scope of practice
  • Update and expand their scientific knowledge using a variety of resources and learning opportunities
  • Utilize critical thinking skills in examining palliative care & practice issues
  • Implementation and promote evidence-based practice through research utilization
  • Promote family-centred care for the palliative population and their families
  • Utilize principles of health education, adult learning, and the teaching-learning process to meet the learning needs of the palliative care population and their families


  • improves one's ability to provide effective, safe and satisfying service to patients and their families

  • increases potential to find employment in various setting involved with care of palliative clients and their families