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Building a career with a ‘bridge’ of support: Three women share their journeys from HSW to PSW

Moving to a new country or changing careers takes courage, determination, and heart. On International Women’s Day, we meet three women who share their unique career paths to health care, and how ParaMed’s Home Support Worker to Personal Support Worker Bridging Program, is helping them upgrade their credentials, at no cost. They also reflect on how they have grown on their journeys thanks to the support of other women.

Home Support Workers (HSWs) provide care and companionship to help clients who are managing injury or illness to continue to remain in their home with as much independence as possible. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) provide similar at-home care with day-to-day personal care support and assistance, including feeding, lifts and transfers, and much more.

Rakshya’s story: A new career brings joy

Rakshya has a background in law but says that deep down, she always knew she wanted to pursue a career in health care. When she moved to Canada from her home country of Nepal, she made the decision to follow her true passion of helping others, as an HSW.

“Once you enter the field of home health care, you realize that you get so much out of giving to people and caring for them. It brings me so much joy,” says Rakshya.

Rakshya says she joined ParaMed’s HSW-PSW Program to build her skills and provide more specialized care for her clients.

“The free bridging course is the perfect solution. It allows me to enhance my skills without having to sacrifice my job,” she says.

On International Women’s Day, Rakshya reflects on her role models.

“I’m fortunate to have two incredible women as an inspiration at ParaMed: my trainer Ebuwa who supported me during my shadowing, and a now retired PSW, Olive, who I have actually never met, but have admired through the stories of her clients. They have now accepted me as their new HSW and expressed heartfelt compliments about my work and dedication,” says Rakshya.  “The positive influence of these two women not only guides my career but also amplifies my determination to provide exceptional care to clients.”

Kennedy’s story: How a flexible schedule is important to her success

Kennedy worked in retail as part of a management team. In recent years, she made the pivot to ParaMed where she is a Home Support Worker.

“It gives me a sense of purpose and importance knowing that this job is directly helpful to others,” Kennedy explains. “I am able to help improve the lives of my clients with each visit.”

Kennedy is excited about furthering her career and challenging herself. She also encourages others who are considering a career in home care or the HSW-PSW Bridging Program to, “Go for it! My favourite part about the program is the flexible schedule and that I can work at my own pace.”

As a young mother, she says that this flexibility is important as she raises her child.

On International Women’s Day, Kennedy reflects on her own mother as a role model.

“My mom was a nurse and a go-getter,” she says. “This has made me strive to always be the best person that I can be every day, to each person I meet.”

She adds that International Women’s Day is important in many ways.

“It allows a light to be shown on women in all jobs and roles, and allows them to be heard, and to feel that they are important, and ‘enough’.”

Getrude’s story: A passion for helping others

In Nigeria, Getrude provided care to seniors for nearly 30 years. She moved to Canada two years ago with the dream of pursuing more health care opportunities.

“My strong desire to become a PSW stems from my passion for helping people overcome challenges,” says Gertude. “Being a certified support worker will allow me to make a significant difference in the lives of my clients and bring smiles to their faces.”

When it comes to role models, Getrude says she is inspired by Mother Theresa’s “profound contribution to humanity”.

Getrude also shared how a ParaMed team member has helped to motivate her in the program.

“Anna is a passionate facilitator at ParaMed and her words of encouragement show her commitment to empowering others to reach their full potential and excel in their endeavors.”

She says that participating in the HSW-PSW Bridging Program at ParaMed is a positive step towards her goals.

“I eagerly anticipate my graduation. It symbolizes fulfillment of a lifelong dream and serves as a guarantee of a brighter future – a decisive step forward in my life’s journey,” she smiles.

Learn more about the HSW to PSW Bridging Program in the blog: How ParaMed is helping home support workers grow their careers as personal support workers

If you are a ParaMed HSW interested in participating, send an email to with the subject line HSW Bridge Training.