Cambrian College Personal Support Worker (PSW) students will soon be learning in a state-of-the-art simulation lab thanks to $107,000 in funding support from the SIM-one Ontario Simulation Network, a not-for-profit organization that helps to advance simulated clinical learning and improve the quality of patient care in the province. The new lab space will be completed for the September 2013 intake of PSW students.
“Personal support workers are a growing and vital component of the health care system in Ontario,” commented Cambrian College President, Sylvia Barnard. “Our students are already recognized for their ability to move quickly and effectively from the classroom to the workforce upon graduation. With the construction of a new simulation lab, graduates will be even better positioned to provide quality care and services.”
The new lab will replicate the home and apartment environments and conditions that PSWs encounter as they provide care and assist patients with activities of daily living. Students will be able to practice many skills associated with home care, in a safe learning environment that physically mirrors the workplace.
“In addition to developing the working infrastructure and furnishings of a typical home, funding will also support the purchase of heath care equipment and aids that PSWs use on a daily basis,” said Dan Draper, Dean of Health Sciences and Emergency Services. “Learning through simulation is a recognized best practice in education, and the new simulation lab and equipment takes Cambrian’s PSW learning experience to a new level.”
Applications to Cambrian’s PSW program are up nearly 55 percent compared to this time last year. This increase in applications is timely, as 40 to 45 percent of nurses and PSWs are expected to retire in the next 10 years. One of the fastest growing jobs in the province, PSWs can expect to find employment opportunities in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health agencies and private homes. Graduates of the PSW program may also qualify for advanced standing into the second year of Cambrian’s two-year Practical Nursing program.
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