PSW Headquarters, At Your Service.

When I started writing this blog, well over a year ago now, I did so because I wanted to share my stories. I wanted to let people know what it is this job entails and WHY it is so so important in the world of healthcare. I love my job and I will continually repeat that as it is the truth. 4 years in and my life is better because of it.

I’ve had an opportunity to write pieces for a website for PSWs. I am so happy and grateful that others want to read what I have to say.

I know my updates here have been lacking, and I’m working on that.

Until then, check out my first piece @

A Day In The Life Of A Personal Support Worker – by me, Stef 🙂

There’s more to come.

I never stop writing.

How NOT To Use A Kidney Basin.

Any suggestions from the floor regarding the title of this here post? C’mon, take a guess. Any guess will do. There are no WRONG guesses here folks! For those not in the know, a kidney basin is a small plastic container in the shape of a kidney bean. The ones we have at work are a greenish-blue colour but I’m sure they have other varieties. Regardless of its appearance, it’s purpose is to collect soiled dressings and any other such medical waste. I have a resident who likes to carry one around with him in case he coughs and needs to spit up. Fair enough. Spitting on the floor isn’t an acceptable behaviour.

That being said, I found his kidney basin today in a place it shouldn’t have been, with something in it that shouldn’t have been there. It was 2:45, 15 minutes before the end of my shift and as I was doing my rounds I came across his little beanie container with feces in it. Underneath a chair in the hall way. Nice, right?

This resident in particular is a challenge for me and all the staff who have worked with him. He has moments where his cognitive abilities are non-existent, but he also has moments when he’s completely lucid and understands full well what it is he is doing. Dealing with a bi-polar-like illness such as dementia is not an easy task. How do you tell this individual that what he did was wrong and not to do it again? You do it exactly like that: What you did was wrong, please use a toilet the next time you have to go.

But what if when you attempt to say this he is in a frame of mind that doesn’t understand? In this case, you say nothing. When dealing with an illogical illness, you cannot – as the caregiver – attempt to find a logical solution. It isn’t there. It will never be there. You are in an ongoing battle with an illness that knows no bounds. It fears no one. And it plays tricks better than any magician on the planet.

So I put on my gloves, put my big girl PSW game face on and I picked it up. And I threw it out.

I work in a nursing home.

So how was your day?