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Partnering to add more PSWs to frontline

September 24, 2021

The healthcare system just gained more caring hearts and helping hands thanks to a recent collaboration between Meaford Long-Term Care and triOS College to quickly train and hire new personal support workers (PSWs).

The partnership offered training to PSW students, along with guaranteed employment in long-term care (LTC) at either Meaford LTC or Hillcrest Village Care Centre in Midland. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students completed part of their education through a remote delivery format and then were able to expand their newly acquired knowledge with a hands-on placement caring for residents.

Not only did the experience quickly give the students the practical skills needed to succeed in healthcare, according to one graduate, it opened the door to a meaningful career, working with a multi-disciplinary team that also includes registered nurses, and allied health professionals such as OT, PT, social workers and dietitians.

“I now have a career that brings me a sense of fulfillment and a chance to improve the quality of life for those in my care,” said new PSW Denisse. “I’m grateful to have had this opportunity, and to Meaford LTC for helping make it possible.”

New PSW Denisse sitting next to a Meaford LTC resident

New PSW Denisse enjoys her new career’s focus on quality of life

New hires such as Denisse are extremely welcome at Meaford LTC. Already one of the largest employers in Meaford, peopleCare is building a brand-new 128-bed home on Cook St. – to open in Fall 2022 – and will need to hire more staff to provide care. In fact, as LTC operators work with government to build new LTC Homes and increase the available care and services for seniors across the province – not to mention moving towards more hours of direct care for each LTC resident – collaborating with sector partners to build a workforce of skilled, engaged and caring individuals is one of peopleCare’s most urgent priorities.

Emily, another of the newest grads says she always dreamed of being a PSW but never had the confidence or courage to go to college. Then she was hired at Meaford LTC.

“peopleCare gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams by becoming a PSW. So far my journey has been amazing,” says Emily. “Being able to care for my community’s loved ones and enrich their lives to the best of my ability is a challenge and a blessing. I always saw myself as a helping professional and can’t picture being in a more rewarding role.”

New PSW Emily sitting next to a Meaford LTC resident

New PSW Emily can’t imagine a more rewarding career

Hundreds of students from many different academic institutions already spend time working and learning in peopleCare Homes each year, and the organization works hard to ensure they have a positive experience.

“Students who do their clinical placement in our Homes quickly come to realize that LTC is a wonderful career option for anyone looking to work in health care today,” says Jake Presseault, Executive Director at Meaford LTC. “That’s the real benefit of partnerships like this one with colleges and universities. It creates these pathways to purposeful employment for more dedicated, caring individuals like our newest PSW grads.”