PSW jobs in long-term care facilities comprise more than half of the total support worker jobs in Ontario.
That’s approximately 57% of Personal Support Workers in Ontario.
As you know, Personal Support Worker is not a regulated profession in Ontario.
There is no governing body, like the College of Nurses for the nursing profession.
PSW jobs in long-term care facilities must follow the rules and regulations set forth by the government.
Long-term care homes in Ontario are governed by the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA).
It sets out rules and regulations pertaining to their functioning.
The act also sets out rules and regulations regarding the education and qualifications of Personal Support Workers wishing to work in Long-Term Care homes in Ontario.
The updated rules pertaining to education and qualification of PSWs being hired in Long-Term care homes came into effect on January 1, 2016.
WHY WERE THE RULES CHANGED?
Despite the fact that the 2007 Act was adhered to by the majority of stakeholders responsible for providing care for the nearly 80 000 long-term care facility residents living in Ontario, the need for a more consistent and comprehensive standard eventually arose.
As a result, the government of Ontario set out to amend the regulations pertaining to the hiring for PSW jobs in long-term care facilities homes in Ontario.
Public opinion was sought through the Regulatory Registry of Ontario where anyone could voice their concerns regarding the existing regulations and subsequently incorporate them into the amendments, prior to the Act being presented to the Cabinet for approval.
After many deliberations, the new regulations came into effect on January 01, 2016.
RULES FOR PSW JOBS IN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
Please note that the new regulations apply only to Personal Support Workers seeking employment in Long-Term care homes in Ontario.
NEW EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
As of January 01, 2016, PSWs looking to get hired in a Long-Term care facility must:
- successfully complete a Personal Support Worker Program that meets the following requirements:
- follows the Personal Support Worker Program Standard set forth in 2014 by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, and
- be a minimum of 600 hours in duration, counting both class time and practical experience time.
- provide the Long-Term Care facility with proof of graduation issued by the education provider.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A NURSE TO WORK AS A PSW
Nurses, both Registered Nurses (RN’s) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPN’s), can also work in the capacity of a Personal Support Worker as long as the following two conditions are met:
- in the opinion of the hiring manager at the Long-Term Care facility, the Nurse has adequate skills and knowledge to perform the duties of a personal support worker, and
- has the appropriate current certificate of registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A NURSING STUDENT TO WORK AS A PSW
If you’re enrolled in a registered nurse or a registered practical nursing program, you can work in the capacity of a Personal Support Worker.
However, this is on the discretion of the hiring manager or the Director of Care (DOC) at the Long-Term Care home.
You must possess adequate skills and knowledge to perform the duties of a Personal Support Worker.
WORKING AS A PSW WITH NO CERTIFICATE
You can apply for PSW jobs in Long-Term Care facilities if you do not have a Personal Support Worker certificate.
You can be exempt from the new regulations if you do not currently meet either the existing or new educational standard.
You must, however, fulfill the following requirements:
- worked at a long-term care home at any point within the previous year prior to July 1, 2011, or
- were employed on a full-time basis for at least three years during the 5 years immediately prior to being hired, or
- worked for the equivalent of at least 3 years full-time during the seven years immediately before gaining employment within the field.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A PSW STUDENT TO WORK AS A PSW
If you’re currently enrolled in a PSW program but have not graduated yet, you can still work in the capacity of a Personal Support Worker.
Here are the conditions under which this is possible:
- You must have completed the theory part of the PSW program,
- You must be in the process of completing the practicum requirements of the program,
- You can only work under the supervision of the registered nursing staff (RN or RPN) and an instructor from the program.
WORKING AS A PSW IN ONTARIO, IF GRADUATED FROM ANOTHER PROVINCE
Did you graduate from a province other than Ontario but have now moved to Ontario?
You can still apply for PSW jobs in long-term care facilities in Ontario!
Here are the three stipulations:
- You must have obtained a PSW equivalent diploma from another province:
- the program must be 600 hours in duration, including both the in-class and practicum.
- You must provide a copy of the certificate/diploma to your employer, and
- your hiring is based on the hiring manager’s discretion such that he or she believes that you have a reasonable set of skills required to perform the PSW duties.
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW PSW GRADUATES
Long-Term care homes can hire PSWs who have completed a PSW program by July 1, 2018, that meets at least one of the three educational program requirements:
- The educational standards developed by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities,
- the standards implemented by the National Association of Career Colleges, or
- the standards established by the Ontario Community Support Association.
Again, do keep in mind that all the above rules and regulations apply to the Long-Term Care homes only.
These regulations do not apply if you’re looking to apply in a hospital or the community.
If you’ve any further questions or suggestions, kindly leave a comment in the comments section below.