Sudbury

Sudbury company working to retain personal support workers

The head of a Sudbury group that recruits personal support workers (PSWs) says he is trying to get ahead of a rapid employee burnout.

Recent survey states more than 50 per cent of Sudbury PSWs have experienced violence on the job

The head of a Sudbury group that recruits personal support workers (PSWs) says he is trying to get ahead of a rapid employee burnout.

A recent survey done by the Workforce Planning for Sudbury & Manitoulin states many PSWs in the area feel undervalued, underpaid or overworked.

Close to 90 per cent of PSWs who took the survey report dealing with difficult clients and 54 per cent say they've been injured on the job.

As a result, many PSWs leave their jobs within five years.

Maneesh Walia is the CEO of Canadian Health Shield Care Services, a company which specializes in nursing, home support and personal care.

He says the key for his group is to put an emphasis on worker education.

"You're not walking into easy environments all the time," he said.

"So if you give them the tools to succeed we're hoping that makes them want to stay longer and stay in the field which most of them do."

Avoiding burnout

Walia says his focus is to make sure his clients are cared for while also looking after his own employees. 

"It's just like being a caregiver or taking care of your own family members: you will get burnout," he said.

"We monitor their hours. We try to keep them within acceptable ranges, so that we're not sacrificing patient care and their health as an employee."

Walia says with an aging population, the shortage of PSWs is not going away any time soon.

His group is forming partnerships with colleges in the region to ensure a steady flow of potential employees. 

With files from Casey Stranges

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