In a hospital setting, PSWs wear many hats. They provide patients with personal care (bathing, feeding, dressing, toileting, mobility), constant care (one-to-one monitoring of a patient to ensure their safety and protect their well-being) and so much more. They observe, monitor and report patient’s change in condition including skin integrity, wounds, vitals, nutrition, behaviours, social/physical activity, and assist in providing the patient’s care. “We are the eyes and ears and sometimes, the voice of our patients when they need help the most,” says Kristie. “A PSW is often the first person a patient will see in the morning, and the last one they see before bed. Sometimes, we are a patient’s family.”
PSWs help keep inpatient units running smoothly. They ensure patients are ready to attend their appointments on time, they facilitate timely patient discharges and transfers and they keep their areas stocked and organized to maintain efficiency. “We also keep the lines communication open with all disciplines to ensure teamwork is functioning at its full potential,” states Kristie.
Safety is a priority for PSWs. “We are constantly problem-solving and trying to find ways to make sure that patients are settled, while making their safety a priority.” In addition , PSWs work closely with all nursing staff, physiotherapy/occupational therapy, recreational therapy and food services to ensure that patients receive the right type of care. “PSWs work with patients to help develop care plans based on their needs and behaviours, as well as report milestones to the nurses so that their families receive progress updates,” explains Kristie.
PSWs provide care and routine for patients to promote independence and successful rehabilitation so that they can reach their discharge goals. “The most rewarding part of my job is when a patient reaches their discharge goal and is able to return to their home or to a nursing home.”
PSWs are there for the patient throughout their entire hospital journey, including end of life care. “For palliative patients, we are there to hold their hands and comfort family members,” says Kristie. “We are part of their support system, providing excellent care and treating patients as we would our own family.”
In her spare time, Kristie is an avid gardener enjoys working outside. In the winter months, she enjoys decorating and remodeling her home.
We appreciate the valuable work of all our PSWs in providing compassionate and respectful care to our patients! Thank you to Kristie for the amazing work she does to support our patients and their families.