Feeling The Burn

You know that hissing sound a fire makes when you douse it with water? All that smoke in the air, the crackling from the burning logs slowly becoming quieter until all that’s left is somber burning embers. Relaxing, right?

Sort of like when you come home from a shift in LTC. After 8 hours it feels nice to come home to quietness, cats & a shower (at least, that’s MY life right now).  And I’m not even talking about a HARD day at work because… well, let’s face it. What day ISN’T difficult to some degree in long term care? I’m talking about those regular, every day shifts and the crap PSWS have to endure on a daily basis. Yes, CRAP. To the point where all you want to do is pour a bucket of water on that flame.

Double shifts.
No breaks (or short breaks, if at all).
The absurdity that is staff to resident ratio, where 1 to 15 is the “norm”.
Pop-up problems: Falls, Outbreaks, Diarrhea
Short staffed (I’ve worked with 2 PSWS for 28 residents during a morning shift instead of the regular 3).
Too many showers scheduled per shift.
More responsibilities delegated to us by RPNs.
General stress of the job itself.
Management making a pathetic attempt to make you feel guilty for legitimately calling in sick.
Working while the MOLTC (Ministry of Long Term Care) breathes down your back.

Am I missing anything? That’s the short laundry list of issues that make PSWs want to pull their hair out after their shift is done. YES, there is stress with every job & I get that. But these are issues that for the most part can be avoided with a) common sense & b) MORE PSWS on the floor.

As I’ve said & will keep saying, NO ONE gets into this job for the money. Having endured EVERYTHING on that list more times than I care to mention, the paycheck I get every 2 weeks doesn’t make up for that at all. I do this because I LOVE it & want to make a difference in the life of a senior AND a PSW. We need more people to understand what we go through. We need more management on the floor with us so that when we tell them that 20 peri clothes a shift isn’t a enough, they MIGHT see where we’re coming from.


Use it in your Twitter world. Drop me a line if there’s anything I’m missing on this list. I’d like to do posts in more detailing pertaining to each point I made.

Until next time.

2 thoughts on “Feeling The Burn

  1. I hear you and understand your frustration. Change needs to happen, unfortunately it takes an infectious outbreak, a major incident (remember Wexford incident), complaints from the public for change to occur. In the meantime, I believe OPSWA is on the road to making change at the political level where policy is formed.

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