Almonte Country Haven celebrates four more graduates of PSW program

Six team members have now completed PSW training through a partnership program involving the home

Almonte Country Haven recently celebrated the graduation of four more team members from a personal support worker (PSW) program the Lanark County long-term care home is involved with to help bring more PSWs into the health-care sector.

Tiffany Brydge, Sheila Warren, Rebekah Lafontaine and Tracie Boyd were honoured with a surprise graduation ceremony their Almonte Country Haven colleagues hosted for them on March 8.

Tiffany, Shelia, Rebekah and Tracie were presented with mortars and gowns to wear and received congratulations from their co-workers on their achievement.

Since early 2020, Almonte Country Haven has participated in a PSW training program offered by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) and supported by the Canadian Career Academy (CCA).

The CDSBEO offers the PSW training program at a comparatively low cost. The CDSBEO has partnered with CCA to cover a portion of students’ tuition. Students are also permitted to earn money while completing their work placement hours.

Students who are doing their placement at Almonte Country Haven have the remaining portion of their tuition covered through OMNI Health Care’s bursary program.

Almonte Country Haven administrator Carolyn Della Foresta says the PSW training program is a valuable asset on many levels.

First, it’s encouraging more PSWs to work in the long-term care sector, which helps address the provincewide staffing shortage. The program also lifts financial barriers that sometimes prevent people from pursuing training and also provides students the opportunity to earn money while doing their placement at Almonte Country Haven.

Once their training is complete, the students can continue to work at Almonte Country Haven.

“This program is truly a win-win for the students because they’re earning while they learn, something full-time students aren’t always able to do,” Carolyn tells The OMNIway.

“From an employer’s perspective, it’s assisting us in recruiting PSWs which is fantastic. We are really excited by the partnership and we think it’s absolutely fantastic what they’re able to provide because so many people have been limited by the financial costs of (a PSW training) program.”

There are now six Almonte Country Haven PSWs who have completed their training through this initiative.

In October, PSWs Debbie Burke and Rebecca Smith became the first Country Haven team members to complete their training through the program.

Additionally, there are two students currently enrolled in the program and two more have signed up for the September intake, Carolyn says.

Carolyn says as the students progress, the expertise and confidence they gain through their training shine through.

“We are seeing that they are just blossoming in front of us, and we’re watching their confidence build as they learn and as they complete the practical components (of the program) in the home.”

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