On May 19, 2010, the province of Ontario celebrated its first ever Personal Support Worker Day.
The dedication of this day was enacted as a measure of appreciation for the essential role that PSW’s play in the healthcare system in Ontario. For patients that are in need of long term care, PSW’s are integral in providing numerous services necessary to sustain these individuals. The services they provide are high in quality and create a level of dignity for the patient.
Expanding the Reach and Quality of Healthcare
Ontario’s Minister of Health, Honorable Deb Matthews, has made it lucidly clear that the province is 100 percent committed to improving the quality of healthcare service to those in need of sustained and extended care. PSW’s will play a major role in the improvement and expansion of healthcare in Ontario.
In this video, the Minister highlights the fact that over the next three years, PSW community hours will be increased by 3 million and funding will be provided to facilitate Personal Support Worker Training.
Another point that is made is that there is a need for better training for PSW’s.
Personal Support Worker training is a very serious topic. Better training, better benefits and greater opportunities are just some of the issues that are being addressed concerning the expansion and improvement of healthcare.
There is no doubt among experts that PSW training must be an issue of priority. The government has to be committed to investing in better training. This will not only insure an even higher level of service, but it will also improve the skill and value level of these dedicated workers, creating higher earning potential.
At close to 100,000 in number, PSW’s make up a significant portion of the healthcare system in Ontario.
Contributions that these individuals make on a daily basis cannot be quantified. Despite the powerful impact that these dedicated individuals make on the lives of so many, they remain some of the lowest paid healthcare workers in Ontario.
Considering the substantial impact that PSW’s make in the lives of aging and ill Ontarians, the government has made the difficult and unpopular decision to freeze the pay of doctors in order to afford PSW training, as well as increase the pay of PSW’s.
The Vital Nature of PSW Training
Training in any profession is vital in improving and maintaining a certain level of quality. With healthcare, the need for training is magnified.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has committed to invest in training programs that are designed to improve the quality of service provided by PSW’s, but it also places these individuals in a position to improve their earning potential; something that is long overdue.
PSW’s provide a number of services that include light housekeeping, personal hygiene, transportation and multitudinous other responsibilities. They create an environment that allows those that are ill or aging to remain at home longer and to live with a certain level of quality and dignity. They extend the quality of life for many.
New Senior Care Strategy
The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care has developed a senior care strategy that will be heavily dependent upon the dedicated services of PSW’s. The Ministry has committed up to $2,400,000 in one time funding for simulation equipment to aid in the training of PSW’s.
As alluded to earlier, the Ministry has committed to an increase of 3 million PSW hours to assist seniors in need of extended healthcare over the next several years.
Funding to Fleming College
A total of $158,619.19 has been provided to Fleming College for training and simulation equipment. Fleming’s PSW program will use the funds to acquire two portable computer systems that will allow students to engage in simulated activities.
Simulation has proven to be a highly effective mechanism in preparing PSW’s for what they might encounter when caring for patients.
The funding will also provide necessary equipment resources for the Home lab. The Home lab is a structured environment that allows the student to become more adept at engaging seniors in a home environment.
Funding to Northern College
Northern College has also been rewarded funding for their PSW program. The college received $180,300 from the Ministry of Health and Long-term care. These funding initiatives are directed at insuring that long-term care for the elderly improves and expands moving forward. It provides PSW’s with the training they so desperately need.
Ontario can expect exponential growth in the area of long-term care over the next five to ten years. A massive part of this growth will be centered on the development of roles of PSW’s and the enhancement of their skill sets for the purpose of providing quality long-term care.
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