Health Challenges 2

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HCSW 1106
Health Challenges 2
Health Care Support Work
Health Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hrs per semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction


Group discussion/group activities

Audio-visual materials

Case studies

May include other methods (e.g. guest speakers, role play, etc.)

Course Description
This course builds on HCSW 1104: Health Challenges 1. In this course, students will continue to explore common health challenges and person-centered practice, especially in relation to chronic diseases and end-of-life care. Students will have the opportunity to consolidate learning from previous courses, and to consider further caring for clients in home and assisted living settings.
Course Content

Challenges to Health and Healing

  • The experience of chronic illness and disability
  • Death
  • Multi-organ diseases (cancer, AIDS)

Critical thinking and problem-solving when caring for individuals experiencing common health challenges in community and assisted living settings

  • Sources and methods of gathering information.
  • Observing client changes.
  • Care planning in non-residential settings.
  • Evaluation of care.
  • Reporting and recording.

Nutrition and healing in the non-residential client

  • Preparation of special diets in the home setting.
  • Involving the client in meal preparation in the home.
  • Cultural aspects of diet.
  • Community resources.

Safety in the home setting

  • Potential safety risks for care giver and client.
  • Observing for infestations of vermin in the home environment and appropriate actions to prevent spread.

End-of-Life Care

  • Hospice and palliative care – philosophy and principles of care.
  • The Journey of dying – understanding and coming to terms with death and dying.
  • Caring and problem-solving as related to palliative care in facilities and in community settings.
  • Legal/ethical practice and safety in palliative care.
  • Quality of life issues – honouring the individual and family/rituals.
  • Common reactions/experiences as people approach death.
  • Physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs and appropriate interventions.
  • Comfort measures for:
    • Pain.
    • Breathing challenges.
    • Challenges with eating and drinking.
    • Dehydration.
    • Bowel function.
    • Restlessness.
    • Delirium.
  • Common reactions of family members and ways to support the family.
  • The moment of death and care of the body after death.
  • Grief and grieving.
  • Self-care for the care-giver:
    • Personal and professional boundaries.
    • Recognizing the impact of loss on the care-giver.
    • Recognizing signs of and preventing stress and burnout.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:


  1. Display a sound understanding of common challenges to health and healing.
  2. Discuss the experience of chronic illness and implications for care.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the components of person-centered end-of-life care for clients/residents and families.
  4. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving when caring for individuals experiencing health challenges in the community and assisted living settings:
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of nutrition and healing in the non-residential client:
  6. Discuss safety in home and community settings:
Means of Assessment

Course evaluation is consistent with Douglas College course evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.

This is a graded course.  A minimum mark of 65% is necessary to be successful in the course.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


 A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided to students at the beginning of the semester.