In early 2020, the Ontario CLRI launched a sector-wide survey to begin to understand PSWs’ learning preferences and identify potential solutions and supports to mitigate some of the educational challenges PSWs presently face.
Thanks to the 200 respondents, the Ontario CLRI identified several opportunities to align with the educational preferences of PSWs in long-term care (LTC).
Please note that the survey was launched during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the number of responses received was likely reduced and may have impacted learning preferences. Future assessments can be completed to capture any change in learning preferences.
It is our hope that the findings of this report will provide valuable insights around actionable steps the Ontario CLRI and other educators in LTC can take to create learning opportunities that align with PSWs’ preferences.
WHO WERE THE SURVEY PARTICIPANTS?
- Female (91%)
- Between 35-54 years old (54%)
- Speak English as their first language (88%)
- Caucasian (80%)
- 10+ years as PSW (53%)
- Currently work in long-term care (88%)
THE TOPICS PSWs WANT TO LEARN ABOUT
PSWs respondents told us the topics they would like to learn more about, including learning preferences for team members and leaders. The top five training topics included resident, personal and staff mental health and well-being, responsive behaviors, personal expression, end-of-life care, palliative care, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
- 87% – Resident mental health and well-being
- 84% – Resident responsive behaviors, personal expressions
- 82% – End-of-life and palliative care
- 81% – Team member mental health and well-being
- 79% – Alzheimer’s and other dementias
EDUCATION FORMAT AND DELIVERY PREFERRED BY PSWs
PSW respondents reported on why and how they would prefer to learn.
WHY DO PSWs WANT TO LEARN?
Figure 1. A pie chart demonstrating why PSW respondents want to learn. The top three reasons included to be better at their job, to gain credible skills and because they enjoy learning.
WHO DO PSWs WANT TO LEARN FROM?
- 86% – Professional educator/teacher
- 74% – Experienced PSWs
- 60% – Nurses or other clinicians
- 39% – Clients/residents, families
- 39% – Managers/supervisors
- 30% – Researchers
WHERE DO PSWs WANT TO LEARN?
- 47% – Where they work
- 30% – Somewhere local
- 22% – Where they live
- 9% – Somewhere that requires travel
PSWs PREFERRED LEARNING FORMATS
Figure 2. A pie chart demonstrating what formats PSW respondents want to learn from. The top three responses included demonstrations, coaching and discussion.
Figure 3. A bar chart demonstrating PSW respondents’ preferred modalities of training. The top three modalities included hands-on, videos and presentations.
PREFERRED LENGTH OF TRAINING EVENTS
Figure 4. A pie chart demonstrating PSWs respondents’ preferred length of training events. Both longer (3-4 hours) and shorter (30 minutes) events were preferred.
Based on these findings, PSWs were most interested in learning about residents and personal mental health and wellbeing. Most would prefer this training to take place at their site of work, via demonstrations, hands-in, video and presentation formats and be taught by a professional educator and/or instructor. Half-day (3-4 hour) training sessions were preferred by PSWs followed by shorter (30 minutes – 1 hour) sessions. Likely a mix of both longer and shorter training sessions would be ideal.