Algonquin College offers PSW at Bonnechere Manor
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Algonquin College's Personal Support Worker (PSW) program will be offered at Renfrew's Bonnechere Manor beginning in January. Announcing the partnership Thursday were (left to right) the manor's director of long-term care, Shelley Sheedy, PSW program co-ordinator Heather MacMillan, Renfrew Reeve Peter Emon and Megan Conway, chairwoman of Algonquin College's health and community services.
RENFREW – With a critical shortage of Personal Support Workers (PSW) in the region, Renfrew's Bonnechere Manor is entering a unique partnership with Algonquin College.
Beginning in January, the program will be solely delivered at the 180-bed long-term home providing some 24 students with an exceptional opportunity to learn within one of the largest health care facilities in Renfrew County. During a press conference Thursday, the manor's director of long-term care, Shelley Sheedy called the arrangement an exciting partnership that will ensure the students acquire the values required to work in a long-term care environment adding it has been difficult to fill PSW positions at the home.
“With an aging population, there is more demand than supply,” said Sheedy. “PSWs are an integral part of the long-term care team as they assist residents with their daily living.”
For Algonquin College's Pembroke Campus, the initiative fulfills one of their top priorities in creating programming opportunities that meet the demands of the labour market. While at the manor, students will received instruction in a classroom setting, conduct lab work and undertake clinical work. According to Sheedy, the PSW profession offers a rewarding career and stable employment with 200 jobs on the waiting list. PSW positions pay a little over $25 an hour with a chance to secure part-time benefits and full-time work.
“We believe that delivering the personal support worker program here at Bonnechere Manor is an opportunity for the college to assist the community of Renfrew and the health care sector in responding to a critical labour shortage,” said Megan Conway, chairwoman of Algonquin College's health and community services. “This is a great example of a collaborative learning model that benefits the employer, the college, and ultimately the students.”
The PSW program is a one-year Ontario College certificate that teaches students to provide care with patience, strength, understanding and compassion to a wide range of clients of all ages, with different abilities, in a variety of settings. Graduates may find employment as PSWs functioning under the supervision of Registered Nurses or Registered Practical Nurses in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, community health agencies and acute care settings.
“Having the PSW program delivered here at Bonnechere Manor is going to allow our students to have hands-on, practical and meaningful experiences with our residents and staff,” said PSW program co-ordinator Heather MacMillan. “They are going to be able to develop problem solving and conflict management skills in the real setting.”
Applications to the Renfrew offering of the Personal Support Worker program can be made through the Ontario College Application Service. The application fee is $95 and applications are made online at www.ontariocolleges.ca.