Residents of Hillel Lodge, the only charitable, Jewish, faith-based long-term care facility in Eastern Ontario
As most people know, the COVID-19 crisis has been particularly stressful and dangerous for elderly citizens in long-term care facilities.
Older people with weakened immune systems or pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, social distancing rules have also taken a toll, isolating seniors from family and friends, and restricting their participation in community activities.
Never have we relied so heavily on the dedication, skill, and compassion of long-term health care professionals to keep our loved ones safe and well. Nurses, care home staff, and personal support workers are on the front lines of this struggle.
Over the past several weeks, Herzing Ottawa’s class of personal support worker students have been busy completing their internship hours at Hillel Lodge, a charitable long-term care facility here in Ottawa.
However, after the virus outbreak, retirement residences stopped accepting PSW interns. Meanwhile, new rules from the Ontario Ministry of Health meant our interns couldn’t work anywhere else after finishing their placement at Hillel.
This caused a problem for our students, because in order to graduate from the program, they had to complete a second internship at a different facility. Plus, how would they find a job after training if they were restricted from working anywhere else?
That’s when Hillel Lodge stepped in with a wonderful offer to our entire class of personal worker support students.
We spoke with the CEO of Hillel Lodge, Ted Cohen, to get all the details. Here’s what we found out.
Hillel extends internship hours for Herzing PSW students
At the end of March, Herzing Ottawa’s Director of Career Development, Joseph Perera, got the bad news that long-term care homes wouldn’t be accepting any new interns.
This left him with a serious problem. He had a class of PSW students who still needed to complete their second work placement at a care home in Ottawa.
The interns were currently placed at Hillel Lodge, but were about to complete their hours there. The PSW program requires students to do two internships, so they can gain experience at different facilities.
How would our students fulfill these requirements?
Joseph reached out to Hillel Lodge to find a solution. He asked if they would consider keeping the interns for an additional 110 hours, so they could complete the clinical portion of their training.
Hillel responded with a proposal right away. Not only would they host the interns for an extra 110 hours, they would also provide them with additional paid hours, on top of the internship.
Hillel Lodge CEO Ted Cohen said the partnership is mutually beneficial. They need extra help supporting residents during the COVID-19 health crisis, and trust Herzing’s PSW students to provide a high standard of care.
“We were delighted to help by extending their internships at Hillel. We see Herzing as a wonderful partner, and we want to support these students in their new career.”
Job Offers for Every PSW Student After Graduation
Hillel Lodge didn’t stop at extending our students’ internship hours. Ted Cohen has confirmed that following completion of the personal support worker program, every Herzing PSW student will receive a job offer from Hillel Lodge.
“We were able to raise some additional funds, which gave us the opportunity to extend offers of employment to the entire class of personal support worker students.
First, we are able to offer them temporary and part-time roles. Once the pandemic is over, they will be part of our casual staff, and eventually take on full-time roles.”
This means our entire class of PSW students will get hired after graduation. This is especially wonderful news given the current health crisis, which would make it difficult for grads to find work at another facility.
Cohen pointed out that every possible measure is being taken to protect the health of residents, interns, and staff at Hillel Lodge.
“Our highest priority is the safety of our residents and staff during this time. We’re taking all possible precautions when it comes to infection control, including limiting access to the home for nonessential workers.
We are ensuring everyone in the home is wearing personal protective equipment, keeping all surfaces and equipment disinfected, and making sure everyone is trained in infection control protocols.”
Why Hillel Lodge Has PARTNERED With Herzing College
Why does a well-respected, successful long-term care facility like Hillel Lodge work with interns? How does Hillel benefit from hosting and training our PSW students?
We asked Ted Cohen why he has partnered with Herzing College Ottawa, and he said the arrangement was highly beneficial on both sides.
“First and foremost, we’re helping to train the next generation of personal support workers who are entering our industry. That's a very important thing to do...to help grow and develop the profession.
Secondly, the interns help us provide a higher level of care. Third, teaching and mentoring new PSWs helps our staff keep their skills sharp. Our partnership with Herzing is mutually beneficial.”
Learn More About Personal Support Worker Training
Personal support workers are an essential part of Ontario’s health care community. They work under the supervision of a nurse to provide special support to seniors and other clients with health issues.
PSWs assist with nutrition, mobility, personal hygiene, medication reminders, therapeutic recreation, and emotional support. They are also trained to observe and report changes in health to ensure clients get help when it's needed. They work in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, and in clients' private homes throughout the city.
Are you interested in becoming a personal support worker? Herzing College Ottawa offers an accelerated eight-month Personal Support Worker program, which includes an 11-week internship.
There is strong demand for PSWs in Ontario. In 2019, 98% of our available graduates said they had found employment. This year, our entire PSW class received offers of employment from Hillel Lodge.
This is an excellent time to begin a challenging, rewarding career as a PSW. Click below to explore the program, request free information, or chat live with an admissions advisor. We’re here to help!