Difficult Conversations in Health Literate Care Simulations

Course Information

Course Code


Instruction Method

Interactive learning online, followed by virtual live simulations.



$889 (Group or Team rate can be arranged)


3 weeks


Tina Papadakos, Sarah Stoyer

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize listening and compassion as clinical skills and describe their impact on health outcomes
  • Establish rapport and develop trust with patients, families and colleagues through person-centered communications techniques
  • Describe key aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication that can make or break connections

Evaluation Method

Debrief, discussion and feedback from facilitators, Standard Patient Actors and peers

Intended For

Clinical and Non-clinical healthcare providers, managers and leaders

Group or team rate can be arranged, email ce@michener.ca for more information


As a participant, you  will receive feedback from peers, standardized patient actors and facilitators. It is an invaluable experience and brings compassion and thoughtfulness to the forefront when working with patients, friends, families and colleagues.

There are 3 scheduled sessions, please select your section according to date in the registration tab.

September 20, 2022 12:30-4:30 (Start date, access to course August 29, 2022)

February 8, 2023 8:30-12:30 (Start date, access to course January 16, 2023)

June 15, 2023 12:30-4:30 (Start date of asynchronous section: May 23, 2023)

Workshop Facilitators: Tina Papadakos, Jennifer Croke, Nicole Liscio, Zoe Evans, Janet Papadakos, Andrea Weiss, Tracie Burke, Jaimie Coleman, Kristen Wentlandt, Angela Cashell


The immediate feedback after your session and having a great set of actors who were amazing at what they did and once out of character, were extremely kind, helpful, and there for the right reasons – to help us be better! 

The eLearning modules were extremely well made. I have read about some of these topics before, but I still learned a lot. 

The in-person work with actors was extremely beneficial to my learning. The feedback from facilitator, observers, and actors helped me gain valuable insight and build confidence. Thank you for this opportunity, I greatly appreciated it. 

The scenario-based format was very time-efficient and led to lots of high-yield conversations. It was moving and impactful, and the scenarios were realistic. The actors were phenomenal and the facilitator was highly observant and modeled giving quality, specific feedback. It was a joy, and a very impactful session for me. Thank you. 

This is a vital skill set that is not necessarily emphasized during medical training. It gave me a great deal to think about and a structure to follow when faced with these situations. 

I think it was really helpful for me to be enrolled in this simulated class, as I never had the chance to practice the difficult conversation skills before. It was a good opportunity for us to integrate what we learned into real practice. 

I appreciated the opportunity to observe/participate in such a diverse set of cases. These are scenarios I have not necessarily encountered before, so being able to engage in a safe environment was very beneficial. 

This course was fantastic! The eLearning modules were very helpful to learn the theory with the in class session with patient actors in practicing the skills. Ample opportunity to practice, reflect and give feedback to each other in a safe space. 

Text Book

all materials included

Topics Covered

Effective communication between healthcare providers (HCPs) and patients is important for HCP well-being, patient engagement, and health outcomes. Yet, HCPs do not receive adequate communication skills training and report feeling unprepared for difficult conversations with patients. Difficult Conversations in Health Literate Care was developed to meet this need.

Difficult Conversations in a 2-part course designed to provide you with skills to support patients and families through difficult conversations, with a focus on building therapeutic relationships. In part 1 you complete interactive learning online and engage in discussion with peers. In part 2 of the course, you will participate in virtual live simulations with standardized patient actors and receive focused feedback, coaching and debriefing from peers and trained expert-facilitators. You will work with through 5 scenarios with people who have cancer. While the scenarios are based on cancer, all learning can be applied to any disease or illness. Participants do not need expertise in cancer to manage.

This program has the potential to increase HCP’s competency in having difficult conversations with patients, families and colleagues and in utilizing inclusive language to build a culture of belonging within the health care organization.

Difficult Conversations in Health Literate Care Simulations DCHS100

COVID Vaccine Requirement:

Proof of full vaccination (2 doses) for all learners is required for all onsite attendance at Michener.
Fully online courses do not require proof of vaccination.

Instructions to upload proof of COVID vaccination to Self Service

Registration instructions:

  1. Select button “View Available Sections and Registration”
  2. This page contains 3 boxes. Click on the “Sign In” box
  3. If you have a Self service account, sign in here. If you do not, then create an account.
  4. Select your course/section by clicking the “Add” button which will send the course to your cart.
  5. To move on to payment, click the blue “Register” button.
  6. Once payment has been processed, registration is complete.