May 19, 2022
Today marks the annual Personal Support Worker (PSW) Day, which was formally declared by the Ontario government in 2010 to recognize the essential service PSWs provide in sustaining our health-care system and providing high-quality community and home-based care. We are pleased to thank our nearly 400 PSWs who work as valuable members of our interdisciplinary teams in many programs and services across the hospital.
Why we need PSWs:
In Ontario, personal support workers (PSWs) provide care to any person who requires personal assistance with activities of daily living. At LHSC, our PSWs look after a broad range of supportive activities across many areas of the hospital, including assisting with activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, mobility, getting dressed, assisting patients with meal selection, the delivery of nourishments, and assisting with feeding as needed. Our PSWs can also take on a limited scope of additional tasks as directed and supervised by a nurse or other regulated health-care professional, like safe patient handling and comfort rounding. First introduced as members of our LHSC care teams in May 2014, they are an integral part in promoting and maintaining a safe environment for patients, families, and staff through the provision of observational care.
Additionally, to support the future of the profession and help to meet our academic mission, we oversee clinical placements for PSW students. During the pandemic, this has been an average of 25 placements per year and we are hoping to return to our usual 40-plus annual clinical placements as we move into a post-pandemic recovery phase.