CANADIAN COLLEGE OPTS FOR IN-DEMAND CAREER EDUCATION
PSW Jobs Windsor | Ontario’s Plan for Personal Support Workers
Windsor, ON – October 16th, 2012 –
The need for community care workers is expected to double in the next decade.
In Ontario, personal support workers (PSWs) provide a great deal of the direct care services provided in peoples’ homes, and in long-term care settings.
With increased demands on PSWs and a growing need for their care, there remain unresolved issues around training, scope of practice and work environment for these workers.
In spite of the central role that PSWs play in providing direct care to so many Ontarians, very little is known about these care providers – who they are, where they work, what their training is and what they do.
In response to this situation, last May the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that it would be developing a PSW Registry to collect information about the training and employment status of the nearly 100,000 PSWs in Ontario in an effort to better understand PSWs. The Registry is scheduled to open and start collecting information on June 1, 2012.
Lori Holloway, Director of the Personal Support Network of Ontario, an organization that provides resources to Ontario’s PSWs, suggests that better data can help clear up “the gray area surrounding what personal support workers do” . Holloway notes“there is no consistency or comfort around this role, and huge variations in training” , which makes it difficult to understand what the full potential scope of work for PSWs should be.
Gail Donner, a Professor at the University of Toronto Bloomberg School of Nursing, who is leading theLong-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety says that the Registry is “a first step in getting a handle on who PSWs are and where they are.” However, Donner says “a registry is a mechanism of counting and it doesn’t ensure anything about quality, preparation or standards.”
With PSWs being the largest group of workers in Ontario’s long-term care and home care sector, many suggest that once more is known about them through the Registry, further steps need to be taken to ensure that they are equipped to provide high quality care. However given variations in the work environment and type of care that PSWs provide, there are questions around what the appropriate next steps should be.