How Canada’s Personal Support Workers Contribute to Health Care

Personal Support Worker Holding Hand of Senior
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial contribution that personal support workers make to Canada’s health care industry. Their skills and compassion are urgently needed.

In today’s new normal, Canada needs these multitasking miracle workers on the front lines.

With more than 34,000 jobs opening up within the next five years and more personal support workers retiring from the field than entering it, the demand for Canada’s personal support workers has skyrocketed. Learn what they do and how you can find a job as a personal support worker yourself.

 

What Are Personal Support Workers?

 

Personal support workers (PSWs) provide critical health care and other services in institutional and private settings, including private homes, long-term senior care residences and community care homes, acute care facilities, and hospitals. Patients often rely on these workers to help them with their daily functions.

 

Typical PSW Job Functions

 

Personal support workers do it all. Typical duties depend on the setting and on the needs of the patient, but they may include:

 

  • Assisting in personal care (bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting).
  • Light housekeeping.
  • Doing laundry.
  • Transferring a patient into and out of bed.
  • Planning and preparing meals.
  • Providing transportation and other forms of mobility outside the facility or home.
  • Helping with other activities of daily living as needed.
  • Dispensing medications.
  • Providing companionship.
  • Reporting changes in condition or behavior to caregivers.

 

PSW jobs are available in hospitals, nursing homes, LTC residences, and retirement homes. Some personal support workers are self-employed or have a private contract with a health care agency.

 

Personal Support Work in a Health Care Residence or in a Home

 

In homes you will find health care aides, home support workers, and personal care workers and attendants. In hospitals, personal support workers usually provide continuing care and rehabilitation. Their duties differ, and they are typically called health care aides (HCAs). They help hospital staff, nurses, physicians, registered practical nurses, occupational therapists, and registered respiratory therapists.

 

Why Is Demand for PSWs Increasing?

 

The Canadian population isn’t getting any younger. It is estimated that by 2030, those ages 65 and older will make up 23% of the country’s population, up from just 15% in 2015. Compounding the situation, life expectancy is also rising for Canadians. As the population ages and increasing numbers of complex conditions and chronic diseases must be dealt with, demand for personal support workers has increased.

 

Additionally, rates of autism and other developmental disabilities in children continue to rise globally, with 1 in 66 children diagnosed with autism in Canada alone. Many of these children receive support from PSWs to enhance their skills to perform daily living tasks.

 

Also relevant is the fact that a greater number of PSWs are currently retiring than are beginning their careers.

 

Recognizing the problem, the Canadian government recently pledged funding to hire 50,000 more PSWs in senior care, and it has extended a $3-per-hour increase for personal support workers in long-term care homes and similar residences at least through October 2021.

 

Use a Staffing Agency to Find a PSW Job

 

With over twenty years of experience in health care recruiting, HeadHunting, Inc. understands the unique staffing needs of the medical industry. Using cutting-edge job placement strategies, we attract people like you — the best and brightest professionals in health care — and we match you with the right career opportunities.

 

We don’t just fill vacancies. We treat you like an employee. We contribute to your pension plan, employment insurance, and workplace safety insurance. We also offer such services as resume consulting, onboarding, and logistical planning for work assignments in remote areas.

 

On your behalf, we will negotiate your pay rate and other details. Based on your performance, we offer unlimited extensions of your six-month contract and development opportunities. We’ll always be there for you to help you thrive in the job you like.

 

If you are looking for a job in health care, give our headhunting team a call at (647) 689-7520 or contact us to learn more.

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