PSW Perspectives

Linda Dunlop

Happy PSW Awareness Month 2023! Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are a necessary but under-appreciated part of our healthcare system, especially as the Canadian population continues to age. Between 2012 and 2022, the percentage of Canadians aged 65 or above increased from 14.84% to 18.83%. Here at CAPE Learning, we aim to spread awareness around PSWs & the crucial work that they do. 

In the pursuit of this goal, I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Dunlop, 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 of being a PSW is the wonderful people I meet, serving my community and being able to provide the care and reliability my clients need and deserve.

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

PSWs are healthcare providers. We are trained and certified under the umbrella of nursing. Many of us have Special Functions training and are trained to perform Delegated Acts.

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

On my own time, I run a household, enjoy watching movies, do various arts & crafts and crosswords. I look after my son and on occasion, my elderly parents. I also take courses to expand my knowledge and upgrade my skills. Basically, I try to do everything, everywhere, all at once.

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

On any given day, a PSW working in the community strives to safely get to clients on time, provide the care as described in their service plan, and ensure they are receiving personal care in a professional, safe way.

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

During the pandemic, PSWs were deemed "essential workers". PSWs should be compensated at the same rate as other Frontline workers e.g. teachers, nurses, etc. Our time, knowledge and skills are worth it!

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

Community Care is an invaluable part of the healthcare system. Providing care to clients in their homes is also the most integral, economically sound part of healthcare. PSWs should have a seat at the table when changes are being discussed about our healthcare system.