The future for Certified Caregivers/PSWs

Over three years, the total hourly wage for PSWs will increase by up to $4.00, raising the base wage of publicly funded PSWs to at least $16.50 per hour by April 1, 2016.

There are approximately 100,000 PSWs working across Ontario’s health care system. More than 34,000 have jobs in the home and community-care sector.

CCS has graduated over 30,000 Certified Caregivers/PSWs in Ontario and around the world. These PSWs have over 350 hours of anatomy and physiology and 800 academic hours on topics such as nutrition, family care, palliative care, dementia care and ongoing conditions, lifts and transfers and more.

“We know that Ontarians would prefer to receive care in their own homes and communities and personal support workers play a critical role in making this possible. Our government is committed to working closely with our partners to better support PSWs, including improvements to their wages in recognition of the important role they play in our health care system.”
– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Dr. Eric Hoskins has left the house, but his commitment lives on to improve client and caregiver experience while creating better quality, trained PSWs, as does investment focused on increasing capacity and improving performance.

The commitment to self-directed care could seriously change the community delivery of care from the 80/20 rule I spoke of before with little funds trickling down to the two most important people in the care process: the client and the psw. Changing by removal of the multi-level agencies the 20% into administration and 80% of every health care dollar out to the client and Certified Caregiver/PSW. We will now see a difference in the cost per client and the delivery system will be working for Ontarians.

How do I get a job as a PSW?

The 1000 hour CCSCARE ONLINE Academy Program for Personal Support Workers, and health care aides is the first in Canada to teach online, while students are working in front line health care services or deciding on a career as a Certified Caregiver/PSW.

PSW training gives you better skills – and better opportunities

Many students are already practising their skills with jobs in the front lines. They have chosen this as a career after working in hospitals, cleaning in age homes and supporting other front line health care workers. “They have practical on-the-job success, and have decided on a career as a PSW,” said Gail Acton the author and originator of the PSW in 1996, then called Elder Care Workers.

Today there are over 30,000 graduates of PSW training, both locally and internationally, as members in the National Association of Certified Caregivers/PSWs.

A recent graduate, Corrie, who had 10 years of work experience, took the online course for Certified PSWs, an intensive health science study in Anatomy and Physiology, in addition to the standard PSW criteria of Ontario of 350 academic hours with a minimum of 40 hours of Anatomy and Physiology.

Gail Acton has advocated for changes with the MTCU (Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities) since 2000 towards the improvement of training for PSWs. Today, she delivers online studies globally for nurses in other countries wanting to immigrate and get jobs as nurses in Canada; as well as doctors who can’t work in Canada, but can work as PSWs, and realize this is an opportunity to continue to honour their profession and work in a field where they have a commitment and passion for care.

Great job opportunities for PSWs

As an experienced international online trainer, Gail looks for someone with heart and love for care giving before suggesting a career choice as a PSW. There is a shortage of PSWs, and employers are just getting used to paying $20.00 and up an hour. Some government agencies are still paying less than the new minimum wage, but these are all adjustments in the labour market, says Acton. “PSWs are professionals and are paid $20.00 an hour and up for the care of our seniors and children. Under the National Association of Certified Caregivers/PSWs (NACC/PSW) with 30,000 members, there is a registration and ongoing training for all professionals to provide care, commitment, competency, co-operation and service. The CPSW is challenged to maintain a professional attitude, regardless of circumstances, and they are challenged physically and mentally with daily reports and attention to their clients.