Personal Support Worker?

World International


Is a PSW here in Ontario comparable to a CNA in the States?

I am American and have been in Canada for 3 years. Just recently, I received my Canadian Permanent Residence and am now able to work and study here.

The BSN program offered here is extremely competitive to get into and I was thinking of becoming a PSW until I can get in. I've also been in contact with the two hospitals in my area about volunteering. I'm trying to get a feel for what kinds of things you can do as a volunteer as well.

Years ago in Massachusetts, I used to volunteer at the local hospital and I did things like answer patient call bells, bring them water, their food trays, record the "ins", restock linens, gloves and other supplies, and record vitals into charts.

Do you do stuff like that as a PSW? Do hospitals hire PSWs? Thanks for any info! :)

z's playa

2,056 Posts

Absolutely ! They're also called PCA's and orderlys. I've applied but its a very sought after job. Usually you need to complete a course (6 weeks) in order to qualify for the position but as a first year nursing "graduate"...I qualify already. CNA is not a term used widely here....but yes it is the equivalent a PCA in most hospitals. At least here. PM me later if you like.


loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

It may be different in some areas. Where I am hospitals do not hire psw's and the PSW program is 500 hours plus a placement period (usually a few months to complete). Nursing homes however, will hire people as aids with no experience. The role of the psw is more than just bringing them water. We learn bathing, ambulating, transferring, and communication skills. We also covered basic disease proccesses, infant and maternal care and touched on sociology and psychology. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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