The Pines Long Term Care home will soon have two more full-time Personal Support Workers (PSWs).
The two soon-to-be staff members have been training at The Pines for the past few months, and graduate from the PSW Fast program at Conestoga College at the end of December. The tuition-free program fast tracks the training of PSWs from eight months down to six months, with three months each of coursework and on-site practical training.
Conestoga was added to The Pines in September, joining Georgian College and Holi Health PSW School.
Carolyn Burtoo, one of the two trainees, says it feels fantastic to be at the end of her training.
“I’m really looking forward to working as a PSW,” says Burtoo. “I have a connection at heart here with The Pines, as my mother was a resident at one time. So I’m familiar with the care that she received, and I feel very lucky to now be working here to contribute to the care that’s given here.”
Jennifer Ridgley, the home’s Administrator, says even before their training is complete, having the students around is extremely helpful.
“The students are another set of hands, and as they start to understand the role and become comfortable with it, it’s a real asset to have them,” say Ridgely. “[We can] take that bit of extra time with the residents. You’re able to do the little extras that you may not be able to do when you only have that minimum complement.”
“Things have gone so well with these first groups of students that we’re continuing on with the program,” says Ridgley. “We have another one scheduled to start in early January.”
Ridgely adds that while staffing at the home is in a better place than it was a few months ago, they’re always looking for new staff and students.