1. Job Security
This job isn’t going anywhere, and it never will. PSWs are the largest group of healthcare employees in the long-term care sector. There are also various bridge programs available at several institutions in Ontario to help you make the move from PSW to RN or RPN. There are approximately 58,000 PSWs working in the LTC sector in Ontario. And the demand for PSWs in this sector and other settings such as hospitals and communities is at an all-time high. There will always be elderly and sick people in this world who need your help.
Now, that’s not to say you’ll always have full-time employment in facilities because, more often than not, you’ll start at part-time or casual. However, the profession will always be there. It will grow. More LTC homes will open and more jobs will be created. Always always keep your eyes open to opportunities. This brings me to my next point:
2. The Pay
To start off, we all agree that the hourly wages of Personal Support Workers in not what they really should be. Current wages do not reflect the hard work you do! However, there are many reasons behind it. All along, Governments at various levels have never recognized PSWs as integral members of the healthcare delivery system. But the COVID-19 pandemic had changed that perception.
There is no going forward without your help. There are Government plans to enhance the wages of PSWs and we hope those plans materialize soon. Going forward, it is a great profession to be in with strong future job prospects including better hourly wages and stable working hours.
This is a 24/7 and 365 day a year job. It doesn’t stop because it’s Friday, or because you have a dentist appointment at 2:30 PM on a Wednesday. If those days or times don’t work for you, then I have no doubt that you can pick up a shift that does work. Keep in mind, though, that the more shifts you are able to pick up the more seniority you’ll have.If you decide to work with an agency, you can more or less make your own schedule.This is a great second job to have on top of working elsewhere for extra hours.
4. Diversity of Work
You don’t want to work in a long-term care home? That’s not a problem. You can work in the community? You don’t want to work in the community? That’s not a problem. You can work in a private setting.You don’t want to work in a private setting? No problem. You can work in a hospital. Hospitals are starting to utilize more and more PSWs. PSWs work in many inpatient care areas, even the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Critical Care Units (CCU). You have many options. Pick one. Pick two!
5. Emotionally Rewarding
If you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker, there is one for sure: You love to help people. Why else would you become a PSW (besides all of the reasons above!)? And why do you love to help others, other than the fact that you’re simply a great personality? Because it feels good. No, it feels GREAT. If you’re having a bad day and you walk into work, I guarantee someone will cheer you up very quickly. When you work with co-workers who appreciate you, in a friendly, home-like environment, one can’t help but feel good about what they do.
6. It’s Fun!
This job is so. Much. FUN! If it wasn’t, many people wouldn’t put in the effort to talk about it ad nauseam with everyone that they know. When working with seniors you’ll hear tons of stories. And, to round out the day, you’ll no doubt run into some cursing from someone almost 3 times your age. While this is hilarious in and of itself, the facilities also show their love for PSWs by throwing parties and get together. Everyone likes a party, right? In addition, if you choose to work in private care settings such as in the community, you are not confined to working in one place.
When working with an agency, you end up working in homes, nursing homes, and retirement homes for private care. Also, take into consideration the potential for leaving the big city. Not a lot of people want to work way up north in the middle of nowhere, but some do. Being a Personal Support Worker, you can work just about anywhere.
The Final Verdict
This is why 38% of you will continue to provide great services for a long time. These are the reasons that great PSWs thrive on, what keeps them going in this fantastic, emotionally rewarding, endless opportunity line of work. Always keep your eyes and ears open to opportunities. Talk to people. Anyone, everyone, even if they’re not in healthcare. Be proud of this growing profession, your growing profession. To be a PSW is to not only be a healthcare worker but a good friend. You’re kind, patient, and caring.