Short Term Programmes Admissions

Certificate Course in Oncological Caregiving

Location: Mumbai

Centre: Centre for Lifelong Learning

Intake: 20


  • Basic knowledge of English
  • Minimum educational qualification: 10th Pass
  • Applications from cancer survivors and relatives of cancer patients will be preferred;
  • however admission is open to all who wish to serve the cause of cancer.
  • Age between 21 and 40
  • Strong commitment to serve


Jointly offered by CLL, TISS and Sanjeevani...Life Beyond Cancer Mumbai by joint certification.

Location: TISS Mumbai with practical experience in Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai

Medium of Instruction: English, Hindi and Marathi


Candidates taking admission will be required to remit a one-time admission fee of Rs.3000/-, which is refundable upon successful completion of the Course


Practioners identify delivery of affordable and equitable care for Cancer as one of the greatest public health challenges confronting India. However, while there is shared concern over less than commensurate availability of diagnostic and treatment facilities to address an expected burgeoning of Cancer cases, relatively little is said about the social care aspects of living with Cancer.

It is in anticipation of this unarticulated deficit that the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Tata Institute of Social Sciences with the support of the Office of the Director, TISS initiated a Certificate in Oncological Care Giving in 2015. An NGO 'Sanjeevani.....Life Beyond Cancer located in Mumbai was the first collaborative partner as they had come forward to discuss the need for such a certification. Their objective was to offer this certification as a source of livelihood for cancer survivors. The express intent of the course is to develop a pool of caregivers who may work in home based or institutional settings.

Positive diagnosis of Cancer challenges the entire sense of well-being of an individual; resulting in psychological vulnerability and alienation. Patients need dedicated supervision to successfully transition and settle into prescribed treatment modules. Designated caregivers need to interpret symptoms of discomfort and successively attend to the same. Patients in hospital wards also require regular counseling and encouragement.

Trained caregivers therefore need to be seasoned handlers; mature and competent enough to engage with patients, figure their needs and navigate them through an elaborate and often- exhausting series of medical interventions. Accordingly, the Course curriculum is designed to focus upon empathetic, emotive, nutritional, paramedical, physio-therapeutic as well as spiritual aspects of oncological care. Pedagogy will combine regular and experimental classroom teaching with immersive field training.

Finally, it is necessary to acknowledge that the burden of Cancer manifests as high economic costs to affected households. Enfeeblement, loss of confidence, loss of livelihood and socio-economic abandonment are common outcomes for an affected individual.

Course Objectives

To prepare a pool of certified trainees as 'Cancer Buddies' for Cancer patients for theprovision of regular care and support in hospitals and residential spaces through :

  • Developing a pool of oncology care givers
  • To enable underprivileged cancer survivors to provide emotional support and nutritional care as trained care givers, and
  • To dispel myths & misconceptions about the disease and create an awareness in the society at large about the psycho-social aspects of treating and surviving cancer

Learner Objectives:

  • Obtain exposure to the heterogeneous nature of patients
  • Interact with and learn from experienced care professionals
  • Engage in direct care delivery to Cancer patients and interact with their family


There is a great need for trained caregivers apart from medical professionals for those under treatment as well as those who have survived cancer. Apart from hospital and home based care, innovative work settings include wellness centres, day care facilities and support group facilitation.

After the completion of the Course, participants will be able to:

  • Engage in direct care-giving in home based or institution based settings.
  • Be active members of inter-disciplinary care-giving teams working with cancer patients.


15 weeks full time Programme consisting of 4 Courses of 2 Credits (30 hours) each to be covered in 4 weeks and 8 weeks of supervised work (Field Practicals) in institutions & hospitals.


Programme Inauguration & Orientation Day 1
Theory /Classes Weeks 1-4 (I month)
Preparatory Leave for Examinations Week 5
Examinations Week 6
Field Practicals Weeks 7-14 (8 Weeks)

Field Practicals Viva & Evaluation;

Certificate Distribution

Week 15


  • Mid-day meal facility to all candidates on all days of classroom teaching
  • Refund option for one time admission fee on successful completion of Course
  • Placement guidance and help


The student will receive a joint certificate from TISS and the implementing organisation.


The implementing organisation may or may not take the responsibility for job placement. This will be stated in the MOU signed with the implementing organisation.

Applications if sent by mail should be sent on the following address:

Sanjeevani Wellness Centre
Bahubali Building
First Floor
(Opposite Akbarallys Furniture Showroom)
Cawasji Patel Road
Mumbai - 400001
For further enquiries please contact on: +91 8691000800


For further information, please contact or write to:

Centre for Lifelong Learning
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Naoroji Campus, Deonar Farm Road, Deonar, Mumbai - 400 088
Tel. No.: 2552 5682 / 5000


From Dadar Station : 92, 93, 504, 506, 521 (all Ltd.)

From Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus : 21 (Ltd.).

From Bandra Station : 355, 505 (all Ltd.)

From Kurla Station : 362 and 501 Ltd.

From Sion : 352


Distribution of Credit Hours:

Note: Distribution of credit hours may undergo some changes


COURSE TITLE Credits No. of Hours
COCG 1 Becoming an Effective Care Giver 2 30
COCG 2 Recovering Lost Ground: Roles of a Cancer Care Giver 2 30
COCG 3 Living with Cancer: Building Inner Fight and Fortitude in the Patient 2 30
COCG 4 Development of Auxiliary Skills 2 30
4 Basic Courses (1 credit = 15 hours) 8 120
Field Practicals (1 credit = 30 hours) 8 240
Total 16 360

Semesterwise Courses:

Note: The Semester -wise listing of courses is provisional, and may undergo some changes

A detailed outline of each course is given below. 

COCG 1:Becoming an Effective Care Giver (30 Hours- 2 Credits)


This course will encourage the learner to look at one’s own self and reflect upon the attitudes that they carry. It will create self-awareness of their values and beliefs in dealing with illness, managing their emotions and stress arising out of the care-giving function. It is a foundational course, which will strengthen their motivation, create empathy and compassion in their work with those affected by Cancer.


  • The Learner will be guided to reflect on their attitudes towards health and well-being.
  • Become aware of their own strengths and limitations in responding to the illness and care-giving as a function
  • Be more effective in managing their emotion, coping with stress and burnout and dealing with grief and bereavement


  • Understanding Yourself: My values and beliefs, self-awareness through the Johari Window Model. (6 Hours)
  • Interpersonal Skills: Developing and Maintaining Trust, Developing Communication Skills through practicing listening and giving and receiving feedback, Communicating with family care givers. (8 Hours)
  • Management of Emotions: Identifying and Expressing Feelings, Understanding how feelings affect you as a care giver, deal appropriately and constructively with one’s own feelings and emotions; and those of others. Understand how to deal with depression. (6 Hours)
  • Managing Stress and Burnout: What is stress and how is it caused, recognizing signs of stress and burnout, techniques for dealing with stress and burn out. (4 Hours)
  • Understanding Grief and Bereavement: Learning to deal with grief and bereavement through the Model of Elizabeth Kubler Ross. (4 Hours)
  • Developing a positive outlook, resilience and an appropriate sense of humor. (2 Hours)

COCG 2 : Recovering Lost Ground: Roles of a Cancer Care Giver (30 Hours – 2 Credits)


This course will provide a brief introduction to Cancer, orienting learners with the types, spread and risk factors associated with Cancer. It will fix ideas on how and under what conditions Cancer invades and colonizes the human body. Subsequently medical support skills necessary to provide rehabilitative care to Cancer patients will be imparted to the learners.


  • The Learner will acquire basic conceptual understand of the nature and effects of Cancer and its treatment
  • Learners will understand common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and understand what treatment is advised by the doctor to ameliorate the side effects
  • Learners will be trained to establish liaison and maintain effective communication with the medical team
  • Learners will be trained to help improve the patient’s activities of daily living including mobility, feeding, bathing, grooming etc. to maintain their quality of life.
  • Learner will acquire an annotated set of skills for general non-invasive bed- side management of Cancer patients.
  • Learners will be trained to care for wounds; and monitor and measure effects of radiation and chemotherapy and encourage patients to improve compliance with the care prescribed by the medical expert


  • Human body and Cancer: Basic review of human anatomy and effect of Cancer (2.5 Hours)
  • Types of Cancer and Prevalence in India: Known causes and risk factors, dispelling common myths and misconceptions (2.5 Hours)
  • Common Symptoms of Cancer (2 Hours)
  • After Cancer Diagnosis Response of a Care Giver: Learning to provide emotional support to rescue patient from shock, Establishing rapport with primary care giver (4 Hours)
  • Principles of Palliative Care.
  • Cancer Pain and its Management: Medication, Emotional Support and Counseling, Proffering supplementary relief methods like Skin Stimulation, Meditation etc.(3 Hours)
  • Common Treatment Approaches: Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Hormone Therapy; Bone marrow transplant Commonly experienced side effects and their management (2 Hours)
  • Bed-Side Management of Cancer Patients: Administering primary care; maintaining hygiene; controlling for infections; interpreting signs and symptoms of discomfort; Skincare post radiation managing emotional distress; tending to loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, breathlessness, seizures; nursing scars, wounds, falls, fever, cramps, sores; counseling patient on changes in appearance and sexual drive; managing feeding tubes, catheters and oxygen supply, maintaining records of weight, muscle wasting, pulse, blood pressure and respiration etc. (8 Hours) (in a hospital as a two day observation visit)
  • Improving Compliance with Prescribed Treatment (2 Hours)
  • Patient Monitoring: Learning to maintain diary of symptoms, side effects and needs (4 Hours)

COCG 3: Living With Cancer: Building Inner Fight and Fortitude in the Patient (30 Hours – 2 Credits)


This Course will deal with three primary extra-clinical components of Cancer Care

  1. Diet and Nutritional Care for Cancer Patients and
  2. Role of Physiotherapy and
  3. Yoga and Spirituality in Cancer Care.

Part 1: The Course will shed light on how nutrition does play a crucial role in management of Cancer. It will be discussed if diet imbalance could be a contributing factor in causing diseases. Learners will be introduced to the essentials of nutrition and braced with information necessary to provide efficient Cancer care. (10 Hours)

Part 2: Cancer and its various treatments are associated with a wide range of distressing physical and psychological symptoms, which can affect patients for many years following the end of treatment. Physiotherapy can play an important role in restoring physical function, minimizing pain and improving the patient’s independence and quality of life. (10 Hours)

Part 3: Yoga and spiritual support can help patients cope with the debilitating effects of cancer by reducing anxiety, depression and fear. (10 Hours)

This course will equip the caregiver with essential knowledge of nutrition, Physiotherapy, Yoga and Spirituality to enable the patients to manage their bodies and mind during and post cancer treatment.


Learners will

  • Identify the fundamental principles of nutrition and learn practical implementation of the same while offering Cancer care.
  • Learn to understand the impact of Cancer and Cancer treatment on the physical, emotional and spiritual state of the patient
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Physiotherapy and gain basic knowledge of the curative and revitalizing powers of Yoga and Spirituality.
  • Learn physiotherapy exercises and Yoga exercises to help patients with bodily mobility and strength



  • Basic Nutrition and the Human Digestive System: Understanding Food and its relation to nutritional status; Nutrients (Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Dietary Fibers, Water, Vitamins and Minerals) and their functions, food sources and deficiency symptoms; Understanding Health, Nutrition and metabolism; Stages contributing to process of Nutrition (Ingestion, Digestion, Absorption, Transport, Assimilation, Excretion) (4 Hours)

  • Role of Foods in Cancer Prevention, Metabolic Changes in Cancer and Nutritional Care in Cancer: Antioxidant nutrients, their roles and food sources; Phyto-chemicals, their roles and food sources; Understanding Health, Nutrition and metabolism; Stages contributing to process of Nutrition (Ingestion, Digestion, Absorption, Transport, Assimilation, Excretion); Various treatment therapies for Cancer and their possible side effects; Side effects of Cancer therapy and suggested dietary management. (3 Hours)
  • Food Safety and Diet for Cancer Patients: Maintaining Personal Hygiene; Precautions while preparation and storage of food; Various treatment therapies for Cancer and their possible side effects; Side effects of Cancer therapy and suggested dietary management types of feeds – nasal, gastro etc. (3 Hours)


  • Fundamentals of Physiotherapy: Introduction, General Examination, Biomechanics, Exercise Therapy. (2 Hours)
  • Effect of Cancer on Human Body: Study of various physical symptoms due to cancer and cancer treatment such as lymphedema, fatigue, excessive weight gain, weight loss, disability, etc. (2 Hours)
  • Physical Therapy Techniques:
    • Therapeutic Exercise – relaxation, massage, muscle re-education
    • Electrical modalities – low-frequency & high-frequency neuromuscular stimulation
    • Thermal modalities – Cyrotherapy, heating agents, hydrotherapy
    • Mechanical Modalities - Traction therapy, Compression Therapy, Therapeutic Taping and Continuous Passive Motion
    • Manual physical therapy – Myofascial, Articular, Neural (6 Hours)


  • Introduction to Yoga: Principles of Yoga, Yoga Sutras and Spiritual Philosophy. (2 Hours)
  • Yoga for Cancer Patients:
    • Principles of Pranayaam and its benefits for Cancer patients
    • Exploring basic Yoga postures and movement, Breathing Practices, Meditation, Yoga Nidra, and their adaptation for people with cancer
    • Learning Asanas (physical postures), Breathing exercises and Meditation
    • Studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as they apply to illness and disease, while simultaneously examining one’s personal relationship with death, dying, and end-of-life issues (6 Hours)
  • Spiritual support for Cancer Patients: Attitude towards spirituality; supporting the patient’s spiritual journey through openness and empathy. (2 Hours)

COCG 4: Development of Auxiliary Skills (30 Hours – 2 Credits)


Care workers function under a huge burden of responsibility. The task is all consuming and allows little room for error. Minor slips could result in dire consequences. This module will suggest a set of simple practical and organizational tools to enable care givers to sort priorities, standardize and routinize tasks and have advance visibility of check-ups, appointments etc.

Suggested tools help define the contours of the care giving process and help sequentialize tasks, making the process comprehensible and manageable.


Learners will

  • Pick up techniques to manage their work better and operate with greater efficiency
  • Learn to prepare care plans, schedules checklists and make referrals.
  • Refine soft skills to proficiently communicate with medical team, family and patient; interpret instructions and effectively articulate observations.


PART 1: Co-ordination of Care and Referrals

  • Role of the social Worker in cancer treatment within and outside the hospital (3 hours)
  • Referrals and Co-ordination: Neat and accessible maintenance of contacts; Familiarizing self with practitioners, treatment facilities and respective specializations; Co-coordinating appointments; Maintaining Calendar Plans etc. (2 Hours)
  • Databank Support: Familiarization with Handbook of government and non- government schemes offering low cost or concessional treatment for Cancer, Introduction to information booklet on standard referrals, follow-up protocols and accommodation (to help candidates guide families visiting the city for treatment). (1 Hour)
  • Learning to Prepare a Care Plan (6 Hours)

PART 2: English and Digital Communcation

  • Communicative English including familiarization with and memorization of selection of useful names, terms and concepts (12 Hours)
  • Learning Mobile Phone based Digital Communication for Daily Reporting (4 Hours)

FIELD PRACTICALS (240 Hours – 8 Credits)


Field instruction provides an opportunity for learners to integrate classroom learning with practice. Students get the opportunity to test out in ‘reality’ the relevance and applicability of knowledge, values and skills obtained in the classroom.

In the case of a course on Care-giving, instruction in the hospital and wards under the supervision of nurse professionals will enable the students to practice the skills, hone them into competencies and perform them with confidence upon the completion of the course.


Students will:

  • Obtain exposure to the heterogeneous nature of patients
  • Apply knowledge and skill gained in the classroom under the guidance of nurse supervisor
  • Interact with and learn from experienced care professionals
  • Engage in direct care delivery to Cancer patients and interact with their family members and support networks.
  • Complete journals on their practical work on a day to day basis.


Fieldwork will consist of supervised placement of students in institutions like hospitals, recovery centers or nursing homes. One on-site supervisor, preferably a nurse, will be appointed for each group of five students. A continuous assessment of student fieldwork will take place through supervisory reports of Program Coordinator on student recordings/journal entries. There will be a mid placement review followed by final evaluation of student performance guided by prescribed assessment tools.

The final assessment will be done through a Viva Voce, a demonstration of skill and the completed Journal.


Studies show that patients and families are most concerned about the skill set of the caregiver, trust matters a lot, and satisfaction varies based on the presence of other caregivers. Generally people connect satisfaction with the technical abilities of their caregiver. These are basic people skills, which include effective verbal and written communication, being observant, and the ability to follow rules and protocol. These skills are critical to providing assistance with daily activities, such as taking medications, dressing, bathing and activities of daily living. In brief, a complete understanding of Primary Care with specific reference to Cancer Care-giving, is envisaged.

  1. Taking BP, Pulse & Temperature.
  2. Bed making and Bed disinfection
  3. Transfers: a) Bed to stretcher/chair b) Chair to toilet c) toilet to wheel chair etc. What is missing in the environment: like social area to interact; Indoor games – can improve cognitive behaviour,use of limbs,fingers and brain.
  4. Elimination needs - Commode Chair /bed pans/ diapers.
  5. Physical environment- Water drinking, bathing, electricity. Door handles, grab handles, hand rallings. Uneven floors/wet toilets/varandas
  6. Care of patient post operation: Urine –colour/Smell/Quantity- : full bag/half bag/quarter bag, SPC into the bladder. Draining.
  7. Injections: Insulin injections. Injections to diabetic patients – when not to give.
  8. Hygiene – Oral Care, Sponging & bathing, Foot and Nail care, Attention to skin/skin care : daily check for ulcers & womds.
  9. Pressure care and prevention of bed sores, back care positioning.
  10. Grooming
  11. Diet-selection for heart patients,stroke patients diabetic patients. Soft food, liquid diet, semi liquid diet. Low Sodium
  12. Ryle's tubes - not too hot food /not too cold food/ rinse with water after feeding/cleaning after & before feeding.
  13. Communication Skills - Verbal, Non-verbal, body language.
  14. Counselling: Interpersonal Skills, relationship skills, building trust, empathy and non-judgmental attitude
  15. Five R's of Medication:
    • v Right name of the patient
    • v Right name of the medicine and reffered by
    • v Right route-oral tropical/topical/IV
    • v Right dose/quantity: 500 ml / 250 ml
    • v Right Time of Medicine: once-evening or morning/BD/TD
  16. Physiotherapy - active and passive exercises. Applications.
  17. Assessment-observation- physical,cognitive behaviour,impairments if any.
  18. Interview – Care Giver should interview- the patient, family, relatives if possible and record the same.
  19. Learning to write a Care Plan.
  20. Practicing skills to make referrals based upon content taught in class. Demonstrate an understanding of diverse roles of professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and role and use of support groups.

* Primary Care refers to : How to administer medication, sponging, maintaining body temperature, measuring and monitoring BP, Pulse Rate & Respiration Rate; ensuring overall hygiene of the elderly and appropriate Diet and Nutrition

15 weeks full time Programme consisting of 4 Courses of 2 Credits (30 hours) each to be covered in 4 weeks and 8 weeks of supervised work (Field Practicals) in institutions & hospitals.

Fee Structure:

Candidates taking admission will be required to remit a one-time admission fee of Rs. 3000/-, which is refundable upon successful completion of the Course