Who are Ontario’s personal support workers?

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  1. Shelley

    Yes -absolutely regulated .
    No – not paid appropriately

  2. Susan Monaghan

    Given the vulnerable population they serve, they need to be regulated.

    Compensation should reflect accountability regardless of sector.

  3. Janet Greenley

    This problem has been going on since the seventies, when the original Health Care Aide program was established. It was going to be registered. We were all assigned registry numbers to be used for that very purpose.

    As to the ratio of PSWs to residents in long term care home, the method of calculation RAIs, is poorly done, as a number of staff bodies who do not assist with personal care, or feeding are brought into this equation. It looks wonderful on paper, but in reality it is disgusting.

    Being a Health Care Aide since the seventies,in long term care homes, and home care, along with having parents needing home care, I have learnt a lot about the systems. I was very active in many courses and committees throughout my employment as a Health Care Aide.

    I loved my job. However by the time I retired ( 60 ) there was not enough time to give the proper care, respect, safety and human companionship. No time to assist in walking rather than using a wheelchair, toileting rather than using an incontent product, assistant to dress rather than dressing. Even though you are told independence is important,which I believe is absolutely true, time does not allow it.

    Enough said. Still too frustrating to think about it. Hope I am never going to be in that position.

  4. Lenora Carriere

    Here in Alberta we struggle with similar issues. This is a large unregulated workforce that delivers the majority of direct care to our patients/clients.
    Our “health care aide” employees work in all areas of care (home care, supportive living, long term care, acute care (hospitals) and group homes. They are a valued member of the health care team.
    Alberta recently opened a provincial health care aide “directory” however registration is voluntary not mandatory. Performance issues or conduct is not part of the Alberta HCA Directory. Cases where employees are not performing are handled by the employer, however this does not prevent them from crossing the street and working for another employer undetected.

  5. Keith Meloff MD FRCPC Neurologist

    PSW’s perform essential work in hospitals and long term care facilities.
    At Baycrest Centre, hundreds of PSW’s work PRIVATELY supporting residents in long term care at that institution.
    Their work is paid for by the family of the resident.If they were to withdraw from the institution, the institution would have to close! It simply could not provide the necessary care from its per-diem allotment from the MOH.
    It is also the case that many residents at Baycrest have private duty nurses.
    This also is a fact of life at Bridgepoint health. I have no doubt that these privately funded services are growing steadily over time across much of the province, putting the lie to the myth of free universal health care.
    Is it not remarkable that these private but essential services are permitted in Ontario, but privately funded hospitals/clinics
    are forbidden and illegal, and recently graduated nurses, educated and trained in Ontario, must seek work in the USA and abroad because they cannot find full-time permanent work in Ontario? I anxiously await a serious discussion of these issues. Respectfully submitted, Keith Meloff MD FRCPC ( Pediatrics and neurology) Toronto.

  6. Cameron Clark

    I have gone back to school to be a PSW after 27 years in public health. I felt disillusioned working as a public health manager in a job that seemed out of touch concerning addressing any real modern adverse health situations. I can say that the training is very competent and all-encompassing and the clinical practice experience tackles the emotional challenges in a thoughtful manner. The irony is that the discrepancy in pay is the recipricol of my two career experiences but money, status and privilege does not always reflect meaningful work.

  7. Lisa Hoffman

    As a Psw it is nice to be recognized for our hard work but yes we are underpaid and in a lot of cases not appreitated as been called just( ass wipers) that’s degrading.im doing this job going on 18 years and it’s not a easy job.people need to really understand what we do.

  8. Anne Harrison

    In many of the nursing homes that I have visited, many PSW’s perform tasks that are not personal care. They empty garbage cans, they collect dirty laundry and put away clean laundry. They change bed linens, make beds, set tables, serve food and clear tables. All these tasks fall under the house keeping heading that individuals themselves pay for, but are performed by PSW’s whose salaries are paid for by health care. The definition of personal care is a gray area in LTC and duties vary widely from home to home.

  9. Clover Bell

    I totally agree PSWS should be paid more but also believe the RPNs also should be paid more they are also doing double duty .1 monitoring psw ,residents ,there family members ,working short ttttthelping the psws with there work plus doing there own work and completing raps coding assessments charting dressings meetings dealing with diffiult family members and staff doing just as much as RN but getting paid half as much the Rpn is caught right in the middle ,you the wonerful psws doing lots of hard core work and above the Psw youthe Rpn then RN so guess who is in the middle with none of the glory yup u got it RPN stuck in the middle like a dog

  10. Jessi

    Thank you all for raising awareness to society,
    It’s also very encouraging to see Professor L.Bulmer contribute to this article!

    GBC Student

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