Reprinted by permission from Manor Banner, Summer 2019
In response to the nation-wide shortage of Personal Support Workers (PSW) — the backbone of nursing and personal care services in long-term care — Bonnechere Manor reached out to their long-time education partner Algonquin College to talk about providing an onsite program at their home. Shelley Sheedy, Director of Long-Term Care for the County of Renfrew, says, “I simply contacted Jamie Bramburger, Acting Dean, last fall and within a couple of discussions, we had an agreement to trial an onsite PSW program at the Manor starting in January 2019.” Mrs. Sheedy notes that, consistent with the philosophy that Bonnechere Manor is the residents’ home first and foremost, the residents were consulted and enthusiastically welcomed the students into their spaces. “This program has truly been a win/win — on May 28, 2019 we held a job fair for area employers of PSWs so that our community could benefit from this partnership as well and this hard-working group of students will gain employment in their community. With our residents, we celebrate the PSW students who participated in the program.”
Bonnechere Manor resident Peter English said, “The students were fantastic! It was wonderful to be able to welcome them into our home as they learned how to be awesome PSWs!”
Jamie Bramburger, Acting Dean at the Pembroke Waterfront Campus, added, “This has been a wonderful partnership and we are so pleased to celebrate the success of our Personal Support Worker students as they complete their program. This is a wonderful example of how the College can collaborate with our community to address labour market challenges for our organizational partners. We congratulate all of our soon to be graduates, and we sincerely thank Bonnechere Manor for their leadership in helping us deliver the program in Renfrew.”
PSW student Richard Leavoy said, “The partnership between the College and Bonnechere Manor has given us students an amazing opportunity to learn and practice in the field all at the same time. Getting to meet and work with the residents and staff was a great experience. This is truly different from any other classroom I’ve been in. The teachers at school really worked hard to make sure we had a great experience and I would highly recommend anyone on the fence to really consider taking this program.”
Based on this positive experience, Bonnechere Manor is excited to be in discussions with Algonquin College about planning another PSW program onsite.