The Grey Area of Personal Support Worker Duties

Dr. Brian Goldman interviews a Personal Support Worker and highlights the issue where PSW’s have to perform duties out of their scope of practice. In other words, they perform duties for which they are not trained or qualified, such as administering medications.

Some of the duties mentioned in the interview that PSW’s perform, are worrisome. They are duties that need to be performed by Registered healthcare professionals such as Registered Nurse and Registered Practical Nurse. Examples of some of these duties are:

  • Administering Narcotics
  • Giving Insulin injections
  • Wound care

Some of the experts from the interview are:

“Health Canada estimates that there are close to 1,000,00 PSW’s working in Ontario alone”

“In general PSW’s are trained to do personal care such as feeding and toileting, transferring seniors from bed to a chair, housekeeping as well as social and recreational activities”.

“Mosby’s Canadian textbook for the support worker used by many PSW training programs warns students to never act beyond the legal limits of their role. The text also states that PSW’s are never to perform a function or task that they have not been trained to do”.


Listen to the complete interview and discover how this issue can affect you as a Personal Support Worker.

Interview | Personal Support Workers and Seniors


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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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