Commissioned Paper Report

Environmental Scan on Personal Support Workers/Lay Health Workers involved in Homecare and Long-Term Care in Ontario: A Rapid Literature Review

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Abstract: Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are pillars of in-community care and long-term care homes in Ontario. In Canada, the United States, and other industrialized countries, the literature emphasizes the need to facilitate the continued development of programs designed to enhance recruitment and retention of PSWs in both homecare and long-term care homes to meet the increasing demands of an aging population. The workforce is unregulated, yet PSWs are increasingly asked to perform medical tasks (digital stimulation, catheter care, medication reminders, and administration of suppositories), especially in homecare, so they have less time for prevention activities, such as cleaning and social activities. However, wages do not reflect these new tasks. Because immigrants or temporary foreign workers who are not fluent in English or French have difficulty in communicating with those they are caring for, it appears urgent that PSWs and agencies become culturally competent with respect to seniors’ cultures. PSWs under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) are foreign workers with temporary immigration status, which may put them at risk of contract and labour rights violations. In regards to the Ontario legislative and policy context, two new initiatives show promise in standardizing the care provided by PSWs to clients: 1) Since 2010 long-term care facilities are legally required to hire PSWs who meet vocational standards approved by the Ministry of Training Universities and Community Colleges (MTUCs), the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) and the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA); and 2) in 2011 the Government of Ontario announced the creation of an electronic registry for PSWs who provide services and direct care in homes of ill seniors, people with disabilities, or clients with chronic medical problems.

Authors: Sara Torres

Knowledge Exchange SummariesReport
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Underserviced Area Program - June, 2010 - Report

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About this Report: The Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR) at Laurentian University, with the involvement of the Ontario Health Human Resources Research Network (OHHRRN), conducted a research study to provide the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long‐Term Care (MOHLTC) with a list of baseline metrics and preliminary performance measures suitable for an evaluation of the revised Underserviced Area Program (UAP). The focus of this document was on identifying data elements that needed to be collected at the roll­out of the revised UAP so as to facilitate future evaluation activities.

Authors: Elizabeth F. Wenghofer, PhD & John C. Hogenbirk, MSc


The Integration of the Inaugural Graduates of the McMaster University Physician Assistant Education Program Into Ontario's Health Care System - Report November, 2010

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About this Report: In September 2008, McMaster University admitted its inaugural Physician Assistant class into the first civilian physician assistant program in Ontario, with this cohort graduating in November 2010. As pioneers of this new profession, these graduates have secured positions in a variety of health care settings throughout Ontario, working collaboratively under the supervision of a physician. This report presents the results of an Employer Survey of this inaugural class.

Author: Chan Kulatunga-Moruzi, M.Sc., Ph.D.

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