Personal Support Worker/ Health Care Assistant Week

The BC Home Support Summit was excellent.

Over a hundred people attended. The majority were Community Health Workers (CHWs) from Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Northern Health.  As I was leaving early for a flight east, I made my journey around the room before the event started.  Great to meet and greet and hear the stories and joy from so many CHWs.  Thank you for sharing your delight in your work with me before I did my presentation!

The morning started as Dr Art Hister facilitated a discussion with five Community Health Workers “A day in the life of CHWs”.

  • Consistent theme – “No day is the same”!
  • Best part of the job – “Leaving a smile on someone’s face”.
  • Funniest story – Mona Morgan told of her friend who went in to a new client.  She was told that if the woman did not answer the door, that she was sleeping, and that the worker should just get started on cleaning. The worker was not impressed with the mess, bottles, ashtrays, etc… all over the kitchen and living room.  She cleaned it all up. When she was finished a woman tapped her on the arm.  She did not look too sickly. The woman thanked her for all her hard work… and then suggested that maybe she needed to be working in next door, in the other side of the duplex!  she was in the wrong home!! Story gets even better… this woman was so appreciative of all the help, she became a regular donor to the agency after receiving such good care!
  • Bottom line – “I would not want to do anything else!”.

I was honoured to speak next, and appreciated the stories and experiences shared.  After introducing my session, the CHWs shared their stories, first in small group, and then a few in the larger group.  We pulled those stories together to look at the principles and philosophy of hospice palliative care, the palliative approach, and the importance of integrating a palliative approach earlier in the disease process.

Kim Carter the BC Ombudsman provided an “objective view of home support”.  I will confirm my notes and stats with Kim and provide them in a future blog.

Today was the Victoria celebration for Health Care Workers.  I missed it, but heard it went well!!

Tomorrow night we will be in Niagara Falls for the OPSWA celebration for PSWs! 

Great week of celebrating these great people.

Kath