PSW Team Leaders: Supporting a team while advancing a career in caring

Carefor’s newly appointed Personal Support Worker Team Leaders are taking on a significant role at many of the 34 retirement homes Carefor provides service to in Ottawa and Eastern Counties. With a reduction in the number of people flowing in and out these homes, there has been an ongoing need for more leadership support.

Director of PSS Robin Meyers, IPAC Manager Diane Roscoe, and PSS Manager Jennifer Faucher collaborated with a team of nursing students in consultation with PSWs to bring this new role to life. PSW Team Leaders will complete a 6-hour online mentorship and leadership courses at Western University and 10-hour palliative care online training.

With the ongoing shortage of PSWs in Ontario, opportunities in career advancement are top of mind. For many PSWs at Carefor, our organization marks the beginning of their career path. Robin says this new role is an example of how Personal Support Workers can continue to grow and advance their career at Carefor. "It’s also an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Carefor PSWs,” she adds.

PSW Team Leaders are on-site support for their colleagues, providing training and maintaining a positive work culture, which values the retention of our staff. While this role is new, these role models have been informally supporting their respective teams for years now. Awa Lamiraux has worked as a Carefor PSW for over a decade.

Earlier this month, Awa Lamiraux was of the first few long-time PSWs to be launched into this role. Over a decade ago, Awa joined Carefor and now, she can’t imagine doing anything else: “I’ve been to every corner of Ottawa and have taken care of some high-profile individuals to people living with little means,” she says. “The work we do every day is very important. We bring care to all who need it in the community.”

Awa can’t stress enough the importance of this formalized position to support staff: “We’re seeing lots of new faces at Carefor who need more support in their new role. My role is to continue supporting them the best I can and make sure they feel comfortable.”

The PSS Team is confident the new formalized training will go a long way in recognizing and retaining staff. “PSWs are the unsung heroes of the health care system despite playing a vital role in people’s health and wellbeing,” Robin says.

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