Care of Vulnerable Populations
Please note that this program is closed. Applications are not being accepted at this time.Build on your knowledge and experience in the health care and social service fields with a two-semester post-graduate certificate. Gain the skills and attitudes necessary to provide a range of support to help clients, specifically the aged and the terminally ill and their families, live as independently as possible through the provision of compassionate care where quality of life is the primary objective and symptom control is the basis for care.
One-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Find your career
This program is designed to enhance the knowledge of health care or social service professionals who support vulnerable populations, such as the aged and terminally ill, and their families. The Governemnt of Canada's job bank estimates the number of Personal Care positions nationwide is expected to open approx. 44,400 jobs by 2026. According to personalsupportwokerhq.com the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will be adding four million hours of community based care over the next four years. This translates into 2080 new full time jobs in Ontario over the next few years.
Graduates of this program find rewarding careers in a variety of gerontology and palliative care specialty areas, including the following:
- Long-term care facilities
- Retirement homes
- Community-home agencies
- Gerontology education
Is it for you?
People who thrive in this career are caring professionals who:
- Enjoy interacting with people, talking and listening
- Are comfortable working as part of a team
- Come from a variety of backgrounds
- Enjoy helping others
Through hands-on learning and an interprofessional health care team approach, gain the skills required to provide supportive care to clients who are experiencing physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural challenges:
- Explore strategies for developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships with aged and palliative patients, thereby fostering their dignity, self-worth and independence.
- Learn how to effectively communicate with aging and palliative patients as well as with health care team members.
- Study how individuals cope with pain as well as appropriate measures for providing comfort and pain management to the terminally ill and their families within your scope of practice.
- Become familiar with ethical, legal and spiritual considerations with regard to the care of vulnerable populations, and develop an understanding of individual and multicultural approaches to aging, death, dying and grieving.
- Apply theory and concepts as related to caring for vulnerable populations and palliative patients through a combination of a clinical practicum and immersive simulation.
The courses for this program are currently under review. Please check back to this page regularly for updates.
- First Year - Semester One
- CVPP1003 Aged Care Issues
- This course will focus on maintaining a safe environment for the older adult through assessment and intervention, providing the student with knowledge and skills to keep the older adult from unnecessary harm.
- CVPP1001 Care for Older Persons and Their Caregivers
- This course examines the changing roles and responsibilities of the older adult and their caregivers, providing the student with an opportunity to understand and navigate patient and family dynamics.
- WKPL1030 Care of the Older Adult Practicum
- This course is designed to provide a combination of clinical practicum and immersive simulation targeted at application of theory and concepts learned throughout the certificate program with care of the aged.
- CVPP1002 Changes of Aging
- This course investigates the normal non-disease related physiological changes of aging and their impact of the older adult, providing the student with an opportunity to understand how to address the physiological needs of older adults.
- CVPP1000 Introduction to Care of Older Adults
- This course explores the core concepts of gerontology, providing the student foundational knowledge required to support and care for the older adult.
- CVPP1004 Physiological Changes & Effects in the Care of the Aged
- This course investigates chronic disease related physiological changes common to the older adult, providing the student with the knowledge necessary to anticipate and address the changing physiological needs brought on by chronic disease in the older adult.
- First Year - Semester Two
- CVPP1006 Care Management in the Palliative Environment
- This course will provide the student with an overview of pain in palliative care environments specifically, exploring how individuals cope with pain and the different pain and symptom management methods and comfort measures; stages and signs of death; safety risks associated with dying across the lifespan.
- WKPL1031 Care of the Palliative Care Patient & Their Families Practicum
- This course is designed to provide a combination of clinical practicum and immersive simulations targeted at the application of theory and concepts learned throughout the certificate program with individuals across the lifespan in palliative care.
- CVPP1007 Ethical, Legal & Spiritual Considerations in Palliative Care
- The ethics component of this course will examine the theories and principles involved in ethical discernment. Issues surrounding euthanasia, withholding/withdrawing nutrition/hydration, diagnostic procedures and advanced directives. An overview of basic theological beliefs with cultural implications and the role of pastoral care in the delivery of palliative care.
- CVPP1005 Introduction to Palliative Care
- This course provides an overview of palliative care with respect to philosophy, hospice, current approaches and trends, the multidiscipline team approach, and stress. Characteristics and concepts of death and grieving will be studied, as well as personal beliefs, attitudes and reactions related to life, illness, death and loss, and how these influence the care of the terminally ill and their families.
- CVPP1008 Psychosocial Implications of the Palliative Care Journey
- This course provides an understanding of psychological and social implications in oncology and palliative care patients and their families throughout the trajectory of the cancer experience. Topics to be explored include historical views on cancer, coping, factors affecting coping and helping relationships, sexuality and oncology, crisis management, psychological issues in cancer/palliative care and caregiver burnout.
*Courses subject to change.
The Care of Vulnerable Populations post-graduate program provides RNs and RPNs with the requisite theory to pursue the Canadian Nurses Association (CAN) certification in either gerontology or palliative care nursing.
How much will it cost?
Approximate costs (2023 – 24)
- Domestic Tuition: $2,722.08
- Full-Time Ancillary Fees:* $1,308
- Total: $4,030.08
- Additional Program Costs: $550
Additional costs, such as supplies, travel and parking, may be incurred during workplace visits, etc.
*Fees related to programs that are less than or greater than two semesters will be adjusted accordingly. Fees are subject to change. Please visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a list of the many services, activities and items included within the ancillary fees, and the related policies.
Bursaries and financial assistance
Loyalist College has a number of scholarships, bursaries and academic awards available to students. Our Financial Aid Office can help you explore your options, or assist you with a student loan.
Required academic preparation
- Completion of a post-secondary certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or degree in any of the following disciplines:
- Social service worker or social worker
- Personal support worker with commensurate experience
- Or, an internationally educated health care provider
- Standard First Aid, Level “C” CPR certification
- Clear, current Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
- Written documentation of immunization against certain communicable diseases is required prior to clinical placement
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Applicants with work experiences or other types of non-credentialed learning may be eligible for credits at Loyalist. Graded credits (as opposed to exemptions) are granted. Click here for more information about our assessment and credit challenge process.
Click here for information about how to apply, international student fees and more.
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