Course Description

Building on the Alberta Health Care Aide Certificate program curriculum, this course is designed for health care aides caring for people living with life-limiting illnesses to enhance the capacity of learners to support and care for the dying person and their family.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding the dying process
  • Hospice palliative care and integrating a palliative approach
  • Increasing physical comfort using palliation
  • Providing psychosocial care
  • Caring in the last days and hours
  • Caregiver self-care 

Required resources: Personal Support Workers package (text/workbook/podcasts/videos) available for purchase from Life & Death Matters.


Learner Testimonial

"This course was incredibly interesting and so full of self-reflection and self-awareness. I have worked as an HCA for 18 years and have had the opportunity to care for palliative clients in both long term care and acute care. I only wish I would have had the opportunity for a course like this back when I first started my work as an HCA, as it would have benefited not only me but my patients, residents, clients and their families.

I now work in an administrative role in health care where I am the Client Care Coordinator for a private home care agency.  Last week I had a call from a family whose father is currently in hospital after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The family would like him to go back to his long term care center where he can live out the rest of his days.  When his level of care changed to palliative, they knew would need more support than what the center staff would be able to offer.  They feared that they, as family, would experience caregiver burnout and this is why they called us. I have an assessment booked with this family and I feel so much more confident now going into this meeting with the knowledge and information that I have gained in this course.

I love how I have been able to reflect on my experiences of the past as well as the new tools that I have learned and developed for the future. I like how I have been able to better understand the dying process as well as the idea that this is not my journey but the family and the dying clients’ journey.

Thank you for providing us this wonderful opportunity and I look forward to continuing my education in the palliative/hospice world."

Pamela Loeppky, HCA, Client Care Coordinator



Course Offerings

Any-time Online

A course delivery mode where learning activity takes place at times and locations of the learners own choosing through the use of online communications technologies. Learners are NOT required to participate in any scheduled learning activities, but scheduled exams may be required.

Start/End Date

Feb 24, 2021 - May 26, 2021




$249.00 CAD

  • If you are currently studying in a post-secondary program at BVC, please register for your courses via mybvc to ensure your enrolments and fees are processed appropriately.
  • Cart total based on domestic tuition rates. For information about International Tuition rates please see Fee Information
  • If you anticipate applying for a student loan, your payment will be refunded to you based on your loan award once your funding has been received by BVC.

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