PSW to RPN Bridge Courses

November 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Posted in personal support worker, psw canada | 1 Comment
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I recently stumbled across Mohawk College (in Hamilton, ontario) co-offering a PSW to PN bridging course in conjunction with McMaster.

PSW’s at my previous part-time job had been discussing this course for a long-time. I’m personally on the fence about taking a course such as this.

To be honest, the current employment climate is still a wild west of sorts. While the Ontario government has created a few different regulations and reporting systems, they don’t seem to be enforcing anything. If an employer gets caught doing something, there are told to stop. No punishment (that I can find) has been levied outside of that.

With that said, do employers in the future want to pay an RPN when they can essentially get a PSW to do the same type of tasks for a lower price? I understand that PSW’s aren’t supposed to carry out certain tasks. I also understand that drivers are supposed to stay at 100km or under on the highway. If the law isn’t enforced, what good is it?

So for the time being I think I’ll remain strictly a PSW. If the climate changes I may ‘upgrade’ to an RPN. But until the whole industry gets cleaned up, I’m not certain that it’s worth the time, effort and money to seriously consider a longterm investment such as a bridge course.


News Media Once Again Picking on PSW Profession

June 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Posted in media, personal support worker | Leave a comment
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A recent news headline (June 20th, 2011) caught my eye. The title of the article:

Personal support worker asks judge for mercy after biting Ottawa police employee

Article in question

I wondered what happened. Not much is the answer.

The article itself has nothing to do with the industry. The man bite an officer while in a cell block for an unrelated crime. From the article itself

Laliberte was once a construction worker who went back to school to finish his high school education and become a personal support worker caring for elderly Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. He is receiving treatment for his alcoholism and hopes to become a nurse, Richer added.

How about the headline ‘Construction Worker asks for mercy…”.

I pride myself on being laid back. It takes a thick skin to be in this profession. But I’ve had it with the news media continually picking on the profession. This is a prime example. The occupation has nothing to do with the crime. The Ottawa Citizen should be ashamed with themselves.

PSW Classes are going Worldwide!

April 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Posted in Outside North America, personal support worker, psw, psw canada, psw school | Leave a comment

Recently I signed up to Google Alerts for the search term ‘personal support worker’ . I had no real reason for doing so, other than to keep up with what’s going on in the industry.

Usually only spammy links and job offers find their way into the alerts. But a few weeks back a non-North American school showed up in the alerts, offering what appears to be a regular, everyday PSW one-year course.

The school is named Internapa College and they are based within the country of Cyprus. The country is located in the Mediterranean sea and has a population of less than 1 million.

This is an actual quote from their course description

“Personal Support Workers are unregulated health care providers who work under the supervision of a regulated health care professional or in the supported independent living environment under the direction of the client or closest relative to the client.”

The program outline is almost identical to one found at a Canadian school!

Would a PSW certificate from Cyprus be recongnized by a Canadain employer?

The worlds becoming a smaller place when even PSW classes are being offered in random non-NA countries.

Changes in the PSW Industry

August 16, 2010 at 1:53 am | Posted in personal support worker, psw, psw canada | Leave a comment
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Hi all.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update. Work has been crazy. So has the summer. One advantage of living in Ontario are the great summers!

What’s new in the industry?

* I see that PSW Canada has changed their name over to OPSWA. They have a new neat looking site. It’s good to see them continuing their solid work.

* Personal Support Worker Canada posted an article on the CAW getting involved in a PSW related picket. Will the CAW shift towards the health care industry (and PSW’s) as the article predicts? I hope so, we could use their presence.

* The North Bay Nugget continues to beat a dead horse, once again bringing up the story of PSW Tasha Simmons stealing over $5000 from a client. This happened a while ago. Let it go. I guess there isn’t much going on news-wise up in North Bay

* The school season is just around the corner. College’s around Ontario will begin personal support worker courses. What does that mean for the established crew? (myself included) More co-op students! One on hand I like the co-op students. They help alleviate my workload. On the other hand I find available hours shrinking during their placements, as my employer would rather pay a co-op student $0 vs my wage.

* Building upon that point, I have a couple of co-workers that really take advantage of the co-op students. They make them do tons of the work. It’s not fair to take advantage of the students, even if they are stealing a few hours here and there. Hey, we were (well most of the new crowd) students at one time or another, right?

That’ll do it. I guess a bit has changed and more has stayed the same. I’ll try to update this blog at least once a month from here on out.

PS: Stay safe & cool!!!!

PSW Regulation

April 6, 2010 at 12:48 am | Posted in psw, psw canada | Leave a comment
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The Startford Beacon Herald posted an article the other day about the difficulty of obtaining sustainable care. The article quotes a family and the CUPE Union. It later delves into bid contracting and future regulation recommendations. It’s well worth reading (direct link via Stratford at the start of this post).

Regulation Report

PSW Regulation via HPRAC

The Ontario Government will once again ask the opinion of theHPRAC, which is a ‘independent’ advisory to the Ontario Government, about PSW regulation. Last time around (2006) the HPRAC shot down any hopes of regulation. Here’s a quote from the official report:

HPRAC’s central recommendation to the Minister is that Personal Support Workers should not be regulated as a profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act. HPRAC also concludes that the closest alternate form of regulation – a Personal Support Worker Registry – should not be implemented.

For those looking to regulate the HPRAC could be a key.

Recent PSW Graduation Article

February 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Posted in psw, psw canada, psw school | 1 Comment
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psw canada school

I was e-mailed a link the other day for a rare yet informative personal support worker newspaper article. It was published in the small market Bancroft This Week. The author visited a PSW graduation at Loyalist College. Nothing overtly ground breaking was reported, although the article did yield a few interesting quotes.

Here’s a quote from mature graduate Sherry Marshall:

“Returning to school as a mature student was a huge challenge and it feels great to now be a college graduate… I’m so glad that I returned to school because I would not be in this position today without my PSW certification.”

Tom Malloy, the Dean of Skills training at the school summed up the demand for this (and all courses) rather succinctly.

“Students are drawn to the fact that they are able to complete their certification within a short period of time, graduating with the qualifications necessary to work within the health-care field.”

This particular PSW Course can be taken in one of the two following formats. A compressed 24 week course and a longer 32 week version. Both include co-op placements.

For more information on this course you can visit Loyalist College . You can also check out the following link for a comprehensive listing of PSW Courses across Ontario

The New Year and Administering Medications

January 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Posted in psw, psw canada, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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My first post of the new year! How’s everyone doing?

I have to admit I was pretty surprised when I checked the stats on my little blog here. In a little over a year it has over 4000 views! Thanks to you the reader and for hosting my blog.

Anyways, onto the new year. My place of employment has a brand new batch of updated training modules for me to go through. Whoopee…..

I received a comment on my last blog update, PSW’s and Medications. Here’s a bit of the comment:

I want to mention that is is not within the scope of practice of the PSW to give medications in most cases. The decision/consent is not yours to make. You need to consult with nursing or medical professionals before giving out ANY medication. To do otherwise would be putting your client at risk of great harm.

Now while I agree that PSW’s should not be handing out medications, well, that sometimes is just the way it is. I don’t condone the action. But PSW’s are largely unregulated, un-unionized and without much of a say with most employers. The tricky subject of refusing to administer medications (or as the comment states, seeking out other professionals in the workplace) is realistically up to each PSW, as the unfortunate reality is some employers might fire/cut hours of workers that refuse and just find PSW’s who will administer meds without question.

PSW’s and Medications

November 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Posted in personal support worker, psw, psw canada, psw job | 3 Comments
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This past weekend I came across a few interesting articles on personal support workers and medications ( PSW Administer Medications & PSW Canada’s Blog Caught in the Middle).

After quickly reading those articles it certainly raises the question of what to do? The first article states that while it’s fishy to administer meds you should make a qualified decision. The second was a press release to newspapers stating that PSW’s should not take part in administering medications.

Personally I’m on the fence. On one hand I’ve seen co-op students administer medications. Certainly a big no-no. On the other hand PSW’s outside of union employment may be taking their jobs in their hands if they complain to higher ups about the whole med giving process.

Ultimately this probably falls into the do what’s right category. Each individual personal support worker knows the workplace setting, co-workers and bosses. Weighing all of these issues is a must IMO when it comes to making a decision on administer medications or standing up to the employer

PSW’s not on H1N1 Priority List

November 13, 2009 at 4:12 am | Posted in personal support worker, psw, psw canada | 1 Comment
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An article from Nothern shed some light on the lack of respect personal support worker’s receive across the province of Ontario.

During Question Period Nov. 5, Gélinas asked Health Minister Deb Matthews about Fran Martens, a Windsor PSW who was refused an H1N1 vaccination and told PSW’s are not in the vaccination priority group. Martens bathes, cleans and assists 11 frail and elderly clients each day in their homes.

Apparently PSW’s aren’t included on the priority list for the H1N1 vaccination. Some of the comments at the bottom of the article really showcase how some feel about PSW’s as a whole. They aren’t well respected.

Anyone on this site knows the work that we all do on a daily basis, so I’ll save everyone the indignation and the sermon. It’s still shocking to see the overall lack of respect. The world isn’t going to change over-night but for the respect of our industry at minimum stick up for PSW’s across Ontario when you hear others question the validity of the profession.

Late October Update

October 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Posted in psw, psw canada | Leave a comment
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Hey everyone. Been a while, not much is new on the job front.

Random Net Surfing

I came across an interesting article on the personal support worker employment cycle. The short article lists a numerous reasons as to why PSW jobs are hard to come by currently. Some of the main points are; school (free co-op), economy and current workers trying to max out overtime after summer vacations.

Has anyone found this out to be true? I’ve done a quick search of the Canadian Job Bank and there appears to be a number of jobs offered by AgTa homecare and very few by others.

New Years Resolution

On the job front I’m going to take advantage of my employers various course and training modules in 2010. Sorta a new years resolution. There’s no cost to take these courses and they should make me more desirable to employers.

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