Nathan – Personal Support Worker (PSW)

Home Career Profiles Nathan – Personal Support Worker (PSW)

AWIC interviewed different local professionals for an inside look into their work. You can learn more about Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413 ) through a detailed Career Profile.

Nathan Jean is a Personal Support Worker (PSW) for ARCH in Sault Ste. Marie.

What does a typical day look like for you?

When I arrive at work I receive report from the previous shift. I check on the residents and start my day which includes bed baths or shower, ADL’s such as mouth care ( brush teeth/denture care), personal care, shaving, toileting, repositioning in bed or getting them up in their wheel chair, getting meals and help with feeding if necessary. Sitting with residents and their families to answer any of there questions or concerns about their care. I provide care after residents pass away and provide comfort to the families. Through the shift we answer calls from the rooms for toileting and repositioning and care as needed.

What was the education and training needed for your job? Any additional training for your current position?

I received my PSW certificate through a private college (6 month program)
I have my Fundamentals in Palliative Care Course
Safe Food Handling Course

Why and when did you choose this career? What have you learned since you started?

I chose this career because my Mom and Step dad both were in the field and they enjoyed it and I really enjoy helping people.

What skills do you have that make you great at your job?

Proper education and training, a positive attitude, I’m friendly and have a good work ethic.

What is the biggest thing you have learned on the job?

A little bit of kindness goes a long way.

What is the best part of your job?

Making a residents day a little better by helping them and making them smile and laugh.

What is something challenging about your job?

I work at a Hospice so I deal with death a lot, taking the time to work on my mental health with a busy personal life.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing the career?

If you’re looking for a career in helping others and making a difference in their life than PSW is a great choice.

How would you say COVID-19 has affected your day-today-work? (Job duties, commute, check-in process, etc.)

COVID-19 has made my job a lot more challenging. Time management is a challenge as their are more steps in keeping myself, colleagues and residents safe. I screen myself daily for COVID symptoms, more steps in the hand hygiene process , as well as wearing a mask all the time.

What has it been like to be an essential worker during a world-wide pandemic?

I feel very lucky to have been able to work through the pandemic, but I also have to be much more safe and be aware of my surroundings so I do not bring the virus home to my family.

Have you experienced loss or personal struggles since the beginning of the pandemic? How have you and your co-workers coped with working through the shut-down?

Not being able to visit my family and friends has been a big struggle, I try to keep connected with them using Zoom or Face Time.

Could you share how being an essential worker during the pandemic has made this more personally fulfilling career?

I have been able to continue to provide great care to our residents despite the daily challenges working during a pandemic.

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