Boreal and St. Joseph’s Health Centre team up to address PSW shortage

Collège Boréal and St. Joseph’s Health Centre of Sudbury have teamed up for a first of its kind pilot project aiming at increasing the much-needed Personal Support Worker (PSW) capacity of long term care homes.

Recognizing that there is a critical shortage of PSWs in Northern Ontario, the School of Health Sciences at Collège Boréal and St. Joseph’s Villa have been working together since January 2018 on an innovative project allowing graduates with specific health care credentials to obtain a PSW equivalency.

Under the partnership, Collège Boréal has the responsibility to deliver a credential that enables St Joseph’s Villa to hire the graduates from targeted health care programs as PSWs. Applicants to the project must pass theoretical and practical exams that evaluate their ability to fulfil the duties of a PSW’s position. Applicants who do not pass an initial challenge exam and do not have the core competencies required for the position have to follow an intensive 32 hours of in-class and lab-based training.

Given positive preliminary results – as well as a serious PSW shortage in the North East– Collège Boréal has extended this pilot project to include Villa St. Gabriel’s Villa in Chelmsford. In addition, community partners in Hearst and Kapuskasing have also been added to the project.

This pilot project is funded by the North East Local Health Integration Network. A formal evaluation of the project will be completed at the end of March 2019.

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