Now accepting applications for the Spring 2018 online Orientation course!

Session begins Monday, April 9, 2018 and runs through Friday, June 15, 2018.

Application deadline is Monday, April 2, 2018.
Register now

The Fall 2018 session is scheduled for October 8 to December 14, 2018.





Course Overview

Newcomers to Canada settle across a very large country and bring knowledge of health care systems from other countries. Although there are differences between various health care professions, there are also many similarities.

This course builds on those common areas in health care and is being offered to internationally educated health professionals prior to their arrival in Canada in order to facilitate transition to a new health care system.

The health care system is very important to Canadians and our approach to caring for patients may be quite different from your own experience in your country of origin.

This course provides you with the knowledge and skills to begin to meet the needs of Canadian patients, safely and with confidence.

Many internationally educated health professionals feel isolated as they undergo what can be a lengthy and expensive licensing process.

This course will allow you to develop a network of peers and expose you to various supports and resources that can help you achieve your goal.

This program was designed with input from many individuals and organizations, including internationally educated health care professionals, regulatory bodies, settlement agencies, educators and employers.

The online course consists of:

  • Delivered over 10 weeks (11 units)
  • Facilitated by trained instructors
  • Fully online (interactive learning activities)

The course topics are divided into three broad themes, focusing on the patient, the health care system, and your role as a healthcare professional.  The final unit will require that you apply your knowledge and skills to a case. The sequence will be as follows: (Click on the tabs below for more information.)

Unit 1 – Introduction to the Orientation Course

This first unit will introduce you to the various types of activities and resources that will be used throughout the online course in order to ensure that you are able to use the course website and complete activities successfully. We will also review some information about Canada to help you better grasp the environment in which you will soon be living and working, as well as to provide a context and foundation for the rest of your learning in this course.

Unit 2 – Cultural Competence

Cultural competence in health care refers to the ability of a healthcare professional to provide care while respecting the cultural norms and values of their patients. In Canada’s diverse society, this skill is a critical component to effective care, as well as infusing every day interactions within, and outside of the workplace. In Unit 2, learners will explore key concepts related to culture, how they apply to care in practice, and a language-focused strategy to facilitate effective communication between those of different backgrounds in order to avoid misinterpretation of nonverbal signals is presented.

Unit 3 – Patient-Centred Practice

Health care in Canada is patient-centred. This means that the values, beliefs and wishes of the patient and his or her family are sought and considered when making care decisions. Unit 3 will introduce learners to the tenets of and skills required for patient-centred care, as well as the expectations of Canadian patients. We will discuss the relevance and importance of self-care and advocacy for the patient in the context of health care. Learners will be presented with a video clip of a patient case and asked to discuss the positive aspects and suggest improvements for the patient care interaction.

Unit 4 – Collaboration Among Healthcare Professionals

In order to perform effectively, collaboration between the various health professionals working together in a practice setting, and the health care system, must exist. Unit 4 is an introduction to collaborative practice, as well as the conflict resolution strategies and feedback-related skills that enable collaboration. Students are asked to work together to resolve a conflict case scenario. A case will also be presented to allow students practice in giving helpful and appropriate feedback to colleagues. The second part of the video clip from Unit 4 will be discussed further.

Unit 5 – Patient Safety

Patient safety is an issue that has come into more focus in recent years. In Unit 5, we will touch upon the effect that the healthcare work environment can have on the safety of patients, see examples of real and potential opportunities for errors in care, and discuss potential strategies to avoid and/or rectify mistakes made. Students will learn about overarching safety competencies and will be exposed to a number of emerging technologies (e.g. the Electronic Health Record) that promise to improve patient safety through the facilitation of communication and patient information retrieval.

Unit 6 – Federal Role in Canadian Health Care

The Canadian health care system can be divided into administration/organization/financing and delivery of care aspects. In Unit 6, we learn about the history, function, and structure of Canadian health care with a focus on the federal government’s role and the Canada Health Act (1984). A number of cases and video clips will be presented to allow for discussion of the benefits and challenges confronting the Canadian health care system and the patients who rely upon it. We will also discuss determinants of health and the healthcare professional’s role in health promotion vs. disease prevention strategies.

Unit 7 – Provincial Delivery of Care

Delivery of health care is the responsibility of individual provinces in Canada. In this unit, we will discuss the different levels of health care delivery, consider the cost of providing health care services, and explore the distinction between public and private healthcare. Students will learn where to access information about resources available in the community in which they intend to practice, and will be exposed to the regional differences in available resources and services.

Unit 8 – Regulation of Health Professions

This unit begins with an overview of the purpose of professional regulation, and explores the jurisdictional issues involved in this privilege in Canada. Various professions are explored, as well as the process of becoming licensed and the relationship of health professions to the labour market.

Unit 9 – Professionalism, Reflective Practice, and Lifelong Learning

In Unit 9, the focus of the course is changed from the patient to the healthcare professional. Learners will explore the meaning of ‘professionalism’ as it applies to their practice and the issue of regulation. Expectations regarding lifelong learning will be introduced, and reflective practice will be elaborated upon and presented as a means to improve each healthcare professional’s ability to optimize the care he or she can provide and to ensure continuous professional development.

Unit 10 – Ethics and Liability

There is often no “black and white” when it comes to ethics and liability, which can add to the complexity of each healthcare professional’s practice. In Unit 10, learners will explore ethical principles as tools for decision-making, and be introduced to Canadian law and expectations regarding liability and informed consent. Examples from previous units will be revisited to allow for discussion of negligence and professional liability. Case scenarios will be presented to allow students to discuss solutions to ethical issues that are encountered in practice.

Unit 11 – Course Integration

At the end of the course, learners are presented with one final case scenario that integrates the concepts that have been covered throughout the course. Learners will apply what they have learned and work with their classmates in order to create a comprehensive, culturally-sensitive and patient-centered approach to her care.

To apply for admission to the course, please see Register.

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For more information, please see Contact Us.