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Working as a PSW During COVID-19: Stories from Our Students

By November 10, 2020August 19th, 2022No Comments
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Working as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) during the pandemic is challenging and, as many of our PSW students are currently on placement or working, we wanted to learn more about their experience. We therefore discussed this with Nuvadee and Mercy, two of Anderson College’s PSW students currently working in the field.

Meet Nuvadee

anderson college psw studentJoining the PSW program was the right choice for Nuvadee as she liked the welcoming and helpful environment Anderson College provided, “Joining Anderson was one of the best moments in my life, not only because of my classmates, but also my instructor who was really nice”, she said. Nuvadee gained a lot of knowledge and advice on techniques from her instructor which she was able to put into practice during her placement.

Nuvadee did her practicum at St George Care Community, a Long-Term Care Facility conveniently located close to the Downtown Campus. Unfortunately, her placement was interrupted by COVID-19. In an attempt to avoid elderly residents from being infected, the facility had to close its door to outsiders, including interns. After a couple of weeks however, she was contacted and offered to work with them again.

St George Care Community needed skilled workers to help take care of the residents. As a PSW student, Nuvadee had the knowledge and skills needed and was offered a Care Support Assistant position. Her duties include the daily screening of staff members, checking the resident’s temperature, helping the residents with their meals, as well as helping with the laundry occasionally.

Working as a healthcare worker during COVID-19 has its fair share of challenges, including wearing a gown and mask, but also maintaining a safe social distance from other staff members and residents.

One of the most difficult moments has been the limited interactions between the residents and their families. While they can speak on the phone, many have only been able to meet with their families through a window, “It’s really emotional sometimes. I see them talk through the window and not being able to touch each other”, said Nuvadee.

Nuvadee continues her hard work, caring for the many residents currently living at the St George Care Community. We are so proud of our students and alumni who are on the front line during these difficult times.

Take the “Anderson College Personal Support Worker Career Discovery Quiz”

Meet Mercy

anderson college psw studentMercy decided to become a PSW as she grew up with her grandmother and took care of her. Being the kind person that she is, it was only natural for her to study this program. What Mercy loved the most about her program was her instructor, as she had great teaching methods and helped her to memorize the lessons, “When she’s teaching, she emphasizes the important points, so I am able to remember everything!” explained Mercy.

After completing her placement at Humber Heights, a Long-Term Care Home, she was hired right away.

The biggest challenge for her residents has been the restrictions put into place because of COVID-19. “What I noticed is that they feel lonely and they just need someone to talk to and spend time with. During my free time, I talk to them and read to them. It makes them happy and I love to see them laugh.” said Mercy.

The new safety precautions are also challenging as she has to put several layers of PPE on, which also need to be changed 3 to 4 times a day. This can be frustrating at times, however Mercy notes, “We do what we have to in order protect ourselves and the residents, so we will keep on doing the right thing as long as it keeps everyone safe”, she added.

Despite the challenges, Mercy’s positivity and patience help her to keep going and continues to brighten her residents’ days.

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