Helping Hands Healthcare Blog

We think it’s important to share our thoughts and the things we have learned over the years with anyone who is interested in learning more about Healthcare and their personal Healthcare options! 

The articles we post here are written in house by our exceptional team of Client Care Coordinators, Executives, Nurse Educators, Clinical Care Staff and more! We stand behind our team’s opinions and are excited to share our viewpoints with you and hopefully our opinions will help you in your Healthcare decision making.

Navigating the Differences Between Nurses and PSWs in Canadian Home Care Services

Helping Hands Healthcare

May 23, 2023

Embarking on the journey of home care services, whether for yourself or a loved one, can bring about various emotions and challenges. At Helping Hands Healthcare, we understand the significance of providing support and guidance during this process. In this blog post, we aim to shed light on the distinctions between nurses and Personal Support Workers (PSWs) within the context of Canadian home care services. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions, ensuring the best possible care for your loved ones. Let’s delve into these distinctive roles together!

Can a PSW call themselves a nurse? 

When it comes to the realm of home care services, it’s important to understand the unique roles of PSWs and nurses. As you navigate this journey, it’s essential to note that a PSW cannot refer to themselves as a nurse. PSWs focus on providing personalized support and assistance, encompassing daily activities, emotional well-being, and companionship. Nurses, with their specialized education and licensing, possess the expertise to deliver comprehensive medical care, including medication administration, assessments, and management of complex healthcare needs.

Can a PSW become a nurse in Canada? 

As you explore the possibilities within home care services, it’s natural to consider personal growth and career advancement. In the Canadian healthcare system, PSWs have the opportunity to transition into the role of a nurse. By pursuing recognized nursing programs and meeting the necessary training and licensing requirements, PSWs can embark on a transformative journey to become Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). This pathway allows individuals to expand their scope of practice, take on greater responsibilities, and contribute to the holistic care of patients within the realm of home care services.

Which is higher, RPN or RN?

Within the landscape of home care services, it’s important to recognize the hierarchical distinction between Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs). RNs, with their extensive education, hold a higher level of authority and expertise in the healthcare field. Their advanced knowledge enables them to perform complex assessments, make critical decisions, administer advanced treatments, and provide supervision to other healthcare professionals. RPNs, with their specialized practical nursing education, work collaboratively with RNs and play a vital role in delivering essential care. Together, these professionals ensure comprehensive support within the comforting environment of home care services.

Can a PSW check vital signs? 

As you consider the specific care provided within home care services, it’s natural to have questions. Generally, PSWs receive training to perform basic measurements and vital signs under specific circumstances and appropriate supervision. However, it’s important to note that more complex medical procedures and assessments, such as in-depth vital sign monitoring, are typically conducted by nurses. Nurses possess the knowledge and skills required to handle these tasks, ensuring the highest level of care and attention to detail. Our dedicated team will address your specific needs and provide the right professionals to deliver the care you and your loved ones require.

At Helping Hands Healthcare, we understand the significance of offering guidance and support throughout your home care journey. Our team of call centre coordinators is here to provide the assistance and information you need.