PSW Feature 

Cynthia Matundan

Happy PSW Awareness Month 2023! Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are a necessary but under-appreciated part of our healthcare system, especially as the number of people who need care continues to increase. In 2020, there were approximately 348 people diagnosed with dementia every day. It is projected that by 2030, this number will increase to 512. PSWs are an important part of the support system for this increased need, and our goal is to spread awareness around them & the crucial work that they do.

In the pursuit of this goal, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Matundan, a PSW working at VHA Home Healthcare, about the work that she does and the things she loves about it. Continue reading to learn more.

What is your favourite part about working as a PSW?

My favourite part about working as a PSW is that when I see smiles in the faces of my clients, whenever they feel the contentment and happiness and mostly when my clients felt being a whole human being despite their disabilities. Knowing that I made a difference in their lives even for just an hour visit. 

What is one thing you want people to know about PSW work?

I want people to know that a PSW work is a noble job, a very demanding work…physically, emotionally, mentally and challenging at times that you should be prepared to face in your everyday work life, yet very fulfilling. A PSW in the community or homecare setting does more than just personal care and helping with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), we become an extended family listening to their stories and learning from them.

What do you like to do on your own time, outside of work?

After a stressful and tiring day at work, I would like to reflect on what I learned and being thankful for the day. I do volunteer works in our church. I also love spending some quality time with my husband watching movies and listening to relaxing music. 

Can you describe a typical day in the life as a PSW?

A typical day in the life of a PSW would be checking our mobility for the days schedule, reading the Service Plan Description (SPD) of the clients, knowing, and learning each individual preference so that when I service the client, I am able to practice Client Centered Care and thus accomplishing my duties accordingly. Then I travel to my client's place, doing what is important to them, and of to my next client until the last. We report any necessary updates to the office via email or phone. There are times I have a gaps in between my schedule that I will spend sitting, relaxing and drinking coffee in Tim Hortons or any other shops that are available.

What is one thing you hope people will take away from PSW Awareness month?

I hope people would see and acknowledged that a PSW in the community or home care is the same as a PSW in the Long-Term Care (LTC), meaning we are healthcare service providers that are all essential to the lives of each individual client we care for and serviced. We might be working in a different setting, yet the job description remains the same.

Is there anything else you'd like to touch on that I haven't asked?

I hope that the PSW profession will be given more support and recognition from our government.