HomeMeet Sandra Adam, proud Personal Support Worker

Meet Sandra Adam, proud Personal Support Worker

7 July 2021
When someone told Sandra Adam about Collège Boréal’s part-time training program for personal support workers (PSWs), she knew she had to enroll.

At 52 years old, she was already working at Foyer des pionniers Nursing Home in Hearst and saw in this opportunity a chance to get her diploma while still working full-time. The program, an initiative by Collège Boréal with Notre-Dame Hospital, the Foyer des pionniers Nursing Home and the Nord-Aski Family Health Team, was created as a response to the shortage of PSWs in the health system that was accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For one year, Sandra attended school once every week while keeping her full-time job. Twelve months later, she has her diploma in hand, just like the 7 other graduates of the program. “It’s a very challenging program but I loved it”, shares Sandra about her experience. Some family members and friends were startled when she decided to go back to school at 52 years old, but she now says other members of her family also decided to take that route.

A wonderful surprise

By the time Sandra and her colleagues finished the program, they were in for quite a surprise. They will soon receive a full reimbursement for their tuition fees thanks to the program’s generous partners, a check none of the graduates imagined receiving. This surprise has further confirmed Sandra’s career choice and her desire to make a difference in people’s lives when they are the most vulnerable.

When people think about Personal Support Workers, they immediately think of things like changing diapers. Yes, there are diapers to change but that is not what this job is about. It’s about caring and seeing people go to sleep with a smile on their faces, knowing you’ve made a difference in their day. That’s our job.
I want to thank our regional health partners who came together to see this unique project come to life. I am particularly proud to be a part of the Collège Boréal team that was able to quickly adapt its Personal Support Worker program in smaller communities to actively participate in the global efforts to address the shortage of PSWs in long-term care facilities. Collège Boréal’s 8 new PSW’s are already making a difference in people’s and families’ lives everyday.
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