Personal Support Worker - FAST Delivery
2022/23 | Conestoga College
Program Code: 11653
Health & Life Sciences
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide
COVID-19 and Academic Program Delivery
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga academic plans and decisions will continue to evolve to reflect the advice of public health authorities. Please consult the COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date information on college protocols.
Expectations regarding course delivery, participation, and assessments will be communicated by your faculty member at the start of the semester and included in the instructional plan.
Program technology requirements are posted on the program web page. Students in hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality, and reliable Internet access.
Program Handbook Guidelines
The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly, and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.
This handbook must be read in conjunction with general information about Conestoga College found on the website and in the Student Guide. The information in the Student Guide and on the college website applies to all students, regardless of program.
Welcome to the School of Health & Life Sciences
Conestoga's School of Health & Life Sciences offers a range of credentials to assist you in your goal of becoming a healthcare professional. From pre-health programs to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees, the School of Health & Life Sciences delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities. With a broad range of programs and delivery options to choose from, you can find a program that suits your needs and sets you on the path to a successful career.
Work-integrated learning is at the core of many of our programs. Whether through a field placement, clinical practicum, or co-operative education experience, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with an industry partner that will put your training into practice.
The School of Health & Life Sciences has many partnerships in industry as well as the local community and beyond.
What you learn here, counts out there – the School of Health & Life Sciences provides you with:The opportunity to become the professional you aspire to be.
- The opportunity to learn in specialized settings with real-life scenarios.
- The opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in a unique inter-professional environment.
- The opportunity to take advantage of state-of-the-art learning facilities and study spaces.
- The opportunity to become a "preferred graduate", sought after by your future employers.
Top 5 Expectations of You
1. Use MyConestoga to connect to:
- Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, email@example.com): This is the official communication channel for everything related to your academic requirements. Communication with faculty and staff is required to happen through your Conestoga email account. Check MyConestoga regularly and respond as requested.
- eConestoga: This is your resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.
- Student Portal: You will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting on this portal.
- Placement Health Requirements: This service provides you with the requirements to enter into practice settings.
- For BScN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub
- The Hub is accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga.
- The Hub provides information regarding Conestoga College and your program.
- The Hub provides a link to Avenue To Learn: A resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.
2. Follow your academic schedule:
- See the
Orientation Checklist prior to starting your program.
- Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
The Academic Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Programs with exams outside this time will be notified individually.
For BScN Students: Academic Year Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Please cross-reference these dates with McMaster University's sessional dates.
3. Become a health care professional:
- Act respectfully and professionally at all times, as these behaviours are the key to your learning experiences.
- Present in professional dress and conduct: See the Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website.
Pre-WIL Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete the tasks as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your work-integrated learning (WIL) and program completion will be in jeopardy. *Note: The PSW and Supportive Care program does not participate in the WIL program.
Social Media: Use responsibly and respectfully. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.
4. Attend classes and labs to enhance your success:
Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and placement/WIL are in place to support your learning and experiences as a future professional. See Attendance and Student Success Strategies section in the Handbook.
- Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See Attendance for Evaluation section in the Handbook.
Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Handbook.
5. Take responsibility for your academic status:
- Student Records: For any questions concerning your student record, academic status and/or program withdrawals, please contact your Program Coordinator.
- Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.
- Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please review the Credit Transfer & PLAR website for more information.
- Student Forms: To access forms, please go to the Student Forms page.
- Academic Policies and Procedures: Are found under Policies and Procedures. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website.
Student Affairs Policies and Procedures: Are found on the Student Affairs page.
It is the student's responsibility to be aware of various important academic dates throughout the year. These academic dates are posted on the college website.
Please note that Continuing Education courses and Apprenticeship programs may have different start dates and exam dates for courses.
Letter to Students
Dear PSW and Supportive Care Student,
Welcome to the Personal Support Worker (PSW) and Supportive Care Certificate Program! We are very proud of the PSW and Supportive Care students, graduates and program at Conestoga College. As a PSW and Supportive Care Provider, you can truly make a difference in the lives of others, and we hope you are excited to start this rewarding journey.This PSW and Supportive Care Program handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga College Student Guide. This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, guidelines, and processes specific to the PSW and Supportive Care Program. Reading, understanding, and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your continued success in this program and as a PSW and Supportive Care Provider. The PSW and Supportive Care Program handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your time at the College.
Given the current pandemic situation, some processes and procedures in the program may be amended (e.g., entering/exiting the building, physical distancing, the use of personal protective equipment PPE, course delivery and evaluation methods.). Because the situation can change rapidly, the latest information will be disseminated to you closer to the start of the program. If subsequent changes need to occur during the semester, they will be communicated to you through eConestoga and/or the College Website.
Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program. The PSW and Supportive Care team will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours as the student.
We are here to help you succeed along your journey to becoming a PSW and Supportive Care Provider. If you require clarification in understanding any of the information in this handbook, or should you require assistance in any area of your studies, please talk to the PSW and Supportive Care Faculty, Program Coordinator, or make an appointment with me.
All the very best to you as you set out to become a PSW and Supportive Care Provider as you start making a difference in the lives of others!
Sincerely,Shelley Edwards-Dick, PSW Chair
Living Classrooms: Riverside Glen & University Gates
Welcome to the Schlegel Villages Living ClassroomIn 2006, Conestoga College and Schlegel Villages developed a Living Classroom program in Long-Term Care (LTC). This innovative and collaborative program consists of classroom and clinical teaching for Practical Nursing (PN), PSW, and Supportive Care students, all in a real LTC and Retirement Home environment.
By participating in the Living Classroom program:
- You have all the benefits of Conestoga College's PSW and Supportive Care curriculum and credentials, and
- You have the additional benefits of learning at the Schlegel Villages University Gates or Riverside Glen.
The Living Classroom program embraces intentional interactions among you (students), the LTC and retirement living team, residents, and families. The program provides you with formal and active learning experiences in LTC and retirement living environments. The Living Classroom program includes:
- a specifically focused collaborative gerontological curriculum;
- intentional exposure to, and mastery of, knowledge, skills, and behaviours; and,
- the fostering of a formal and informal learning in a mentoring environment.
In addition to teaching and providing support for you as a student, Conestoga College PSW and Supportive Care program team members in the Living Classroom work together with the Schlegel Villages team to integrate your learning with the activities in the facility and create opportunities for your involvement. You are encouraged to take advantage of being in the Village by spending time with the residents and their families. The LTC and retirement Village also facilitate volunteer opportunities for you to assist residents and families. Furthermore, the health care teams at Schlegel Villages receive special training on how to mentor and support you when you are in the Villages.
The outcomes of the integration between learning and caregiving are mutually beneficial:
- as a student, you gain more comfort and confidence in working with residents and families;
- the team actively participates in your training;
- residents are provided with care as well as social interaction;
- you feel respected and valued as a member of the team;
- the team and residents also feel valued as they actively assist you with the learning and training process by sharing their own skills and experiences.
Welcome from The Villages
Dear Conestoga College Student,
On behalf of the Team of The Village of Riverside Glen and The Village at University Gates we would like to extend a warm welcome to you. Our Village is a place where students are valued.
In our Village Neighbourhoods we can all have the opportunity to learn from each other and grow together. We trust you will enjoy your time learning in this unique living classroom environment.
We wish you all the best as you begin this very rewarding career as a caregiver.
Bryce McBain, General Manager of Riverside Glen
Chris-Anne Preston, General Manager of University Gates
Conestoga's PSW and Supportive Care programs offer an integrated plan of learning in which the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values critical to your goal of becoming a PSW and Supportive Care Provider are presented in a logical sequence. The PSW and Supportive Care programs scaffold learning from one course to the next and provides the opportunity to integrate increasing knowledge with application of theory to practice in more complex ways.
Program PhilosophyThe philosophy of personal supportive care is based on the belief that the individual client and their family are unique individuals with unique experiences. Each individual and family have basic needs and the potential to meet their basic needs. However, at times, assistance may be required to meet their basic needs because of age, environmental and health-related factors.
Values/Beliefs that Guide the PSW and Supportive Care Program Curriculum
Our Beliefs about Those Receiving Supportive Care
We believe that:
- The PSW/Supportive Care Provider provides quality supportive care for individual clients and/or families throughout the lifespan and at various levels of health and wellness, utilizing a holistic approach.
- The PSW/Supportive Care Provider recognizes the interrelatedness of the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of the individual and stressing optimum functional restoration.
- The individual client's right to respect, dignity, confidentiality, cultural integrity, independence, well-being, choice, and self-determination are supported and promoted by the PSW/Supportive Care Provider to enhance the quality of life throughout the life cycle.
Our Beliefs about Those Who Care for Individuals Requiring Supportive Care
We believe that:
- The PSW/Supportive Care Provider is a valued contributing member of the interdisciplinary health care team and works under the direction of registered and or designated personnel, and in partnership with clients and/or their families, in institutional and/or home care environments. An atmosphere of mutual respect between all individuals is promoted.
- The PSW/Supportive Care Provider learns in an environment that enhances personal and educational growth. Principles of adult education guide the teaching-learning process. Students accept responsibility for their learning, and the program team facilitates achievement of the student's learning needs.
- Legal, moral and ethical guidelines govern the practice of the PSW and Supportive Care Provider.
- The PSW/Supportive Care Provider recognizes that they will function in a continually changing society and health care system, which reflects an increasingly aging and diverse population.
Our Beliefs Applied to the PSW and Supportive Care ProgramWe believe that Conestoga College's PSW and Supportive Care program incorporates the above philosophy into our program by:
- Accommodating, to the best of our ability, individual situations, as appropriate for emerging adult learners.
- Encouraging and expecting students to develop behaviours necessary in the workforce and in the PSW and Supportive Care profession, including self-reflection, responsibility for self and own actions, honesty, integrity, punctuality and engagement.
- Designing courses and experiences to support students in constructing knowledge about supportive care in meaningful ways.
- Modeling a variety of teaching styles, providing a variety of learning and practice experiences, and by using a variety of evaluation methods.
- Modeling communication and problem-solving skills as well as professional behaviours and attitudes required of Personal Support Workers and Supportive Care Providers.
- Supporting the integration of theory and practice by providing students with opportunities to connect theory and its application in combination with practical experience.
- Facilitating students' understanding to enable them to "make sense" of their practical experiences in view of theory.
- Engaging students actively in their learning process.
- Recognizing and appreciating the different styles and approaches to learning that an emerging adult learner may use/exhibit (multiple intelligences).
- Building on previous successes to enhance confidence of the student as a learner.
- Supporting students as they develop their professional philosophy.
- Mentoring students as they proceed through their journey of becoming a PSW and Supportive Care Provider in both the classroom, lab and through their field experiences.
- Offering general knowledge and generic skills, in addition to specific vocational skills.
- Endeavouring to support the PSW and Supportive Care field and the local community, believing that learning is life-long, and that Personal Support Workers and Supportive Care Providers play a vital role in our society.
Experiential learning experiences provide:
- students with opportunity to develop skills to apply in a field placement;
- students with opportunity to work with a team who support, evaluate, and mentor them as they work to acquire the skills and attitudes necessary of a PSW/Supportive Care Provider;
- an environment where the teaching/learning team and students work together to implement and evaluate new skills necessary to work in the health care field as a PSW/Supportive Care Provider.
PSW Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, the graduate will:
- work within the personal support worker role in various care settings in accordance with all applicable legislation, standards, employer job descriptions, policies, procedures and guidelines.
- practice professionally, and be accountable for one's own actions by applying problem-solving, self-awareness, time management and critical thinking to the provision of care as a personal support worker, whether working independently or as a member of a team.
- practice as an engaged member of the interprofessional team to maintain collaborative working relationships for the provision of supportive, safe, responsive and competent client-centred care within care settings.
- provide person-centred care, based on ethical principles, sensitive to diverse personal and family values, beliefs, cultural practices and other needs, which follows the plan of care.
- establish and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients and their families using effective communication skills to build a genuine, trusting, and respectful partnership, in accordance with professional boundaries, employer policies, confidentiality, and privacy legislation.
- identify relevant client information within the roles and responsibilities of the personal support worker using observation, critical thinking, and effective communication skills to report and document findings.
- create, promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, self and others by implementing current infection prevention and control measures, emergency and first aid procedures, and best practices in pandemic planning that are in keeping with the plan of care, all applicable legislation, and employer policies and procedures.
- assist clients across the lifespan with activities of daily living by applying fundamental knowledge of growth and development, psychological concepts, common alterations in functioning, health promotion, disease prevention, rehabilitation and restorative care, and holistic health care.
- assist the client with medication following the client's plan of care, and if a delegated act, under the supervision of a regulated health professional or done by exception under the most accountable person and in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer policies.
- assist with household management services and instrumental activities of daily living in accordance with the plan of care and considering the preferences, comfort, safety and autonomy of clients, families and significant others.
- assist and support clients who are caregivers, considering individual and family choices, professional boundaries and the direction of the plan of care.
- identify, respond to and report potential, alleged, suspected or witnessed situations of abuse, and/or neglect, as required by all applicable legislation, including the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, and as required within the employers' job description for the personal support workers.
- assist with the provision of holistic health care and advocacy for culturally safe and spiritually sensitive palliative and end-of-life care to clients and to their families and significant others from diagnosis through to death and bereavement, and in accordance with clients’ choices and the plan of care.
- provide client-centered and client-directed care to individuals experiencing various mental health illness and challenges, cognitive and intellectual impairments, and/or responsive behaviours by using supportive approaches and evidence-based practices to promote positive and safe behaviours in clients*.
You can find your program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:
- Log in to Student Portal
- Click on 'My Courses' tab
- Select 'View Progress Report' button
Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the School of Health & Life Sciences website. To find these courses, students need to scroll to the 'Program Courses' section.
Credit Transfer, Pathways & PLAR
Conestoga recognizes you may have formal post-secondary education that may allow you to enter a program at an advanced level or provide for individual course exemptions. To ensure your credits are eligible for transfer, please contact our Credit Transfer Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Credit Transfer Policy and Procedure are available on the college website.
If you are currently a Conestoga student and want to continue studying at Conestoga, there are a number of different pathway opportunities available to you.
Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways, to help you meet your goals.
Conestoga College has articulation agreements with many domestic and international institutions. These agreements allow students to transfer into a specific program with advanced standing. Students must meet the academic requirements stated in the agreement.
For more information regarding pathways at Conestoga, contact the Credit Transfer Officer at 519-748-5220 ext. 2166.
PSW and Supportive Care Providers contribute to the quality of life of individuals by promoting their independence and dignity; social, emotional, and physical needs; mobility; personal appearance; comfort and safety. Graduates understand the roles and responsibilities of the personal support worker and work as a member of the healthcare team, communicating effectively, and observing and reporting changes in clients' conditions.
Communication and Contact Information
Contacting Faculty or Staff
When contacting faculty or staff (via email or by phone), your message should include the following information:
- First and last name, student ID #
- Course and semester or level
- Brief description of the reason for contact
- Telephone number or email contact where you can be reached
All students are supplied with a Conestoga email address. All communications will be via your Conestoga email address or posted on Conestoga's online Learning Management System – eConestoga. Use only your Conestoga email address when communicating with faculty and staff. Students are expected to check their Conestoga email regularly.
If you are having problems accessing your Conestoga email, contact the Information Technology (IT) department at ITSDesk@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3444 as soon as possible. Students are accountable for ensuring a functioning email account.
Faculty and Staff Availability
Students are encouraged to connect with faculty to discuss course work, assignments, or other matters related to success at Conestoga.
Procedures for Meeting with Faculty and Staff
To schedule a meeting with faculty or staff, please contact the person by email. Meetings may be held in person, virtually or by telephone.
Technical RequirementsStudent success is important and requires technology to support learning needs. To effectively participate in remote learning and complete class assignments and virtual testing, students must have reliable internet access and meet the following device requirements:
- A laptop or computer with reliable internet access.
- Microsoft Windows 10 or macOC 10.14 (or higher). *Check with your program to see preference.
- Webcam functionality and audio capability (speakers and a quality headset/microphone).
- Office 365 software (note: the college provides registered students access to free software downloads through the following link.
Student Concern or Issues
If any concerns or issues arise during your learning experience, our main goal is to collaborate with students, faculty and staff to resolve situations or concerns quickly and improve and optimize our processes.
1. When a situation of concern arises, inform those involved in a timely manner.
2. Please see the Student Rights and Responsibilities website for further details on informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.
3. Issues and concerns related to a placement site, or its employees should first be brought to the attention of the Conestoga Field Placement Supervisor or Program Coordinator, subject to the additional procedures outlined in the sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Field Placement" of your handbook.
Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga College agree that a student has the right to invite a member of CSI to a student/faculty meeting, provided that 24 hours advance notice is given to faculty. This advance notice will ensure that all parties will have an opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting.
Program Advisory Committees (PACs)
Program Advisory Committees (PACs) provide the necessary link between Conestoga and the community it serves. PACs operate in an advisory capacity to Conestoga administration with the objective to keep Conestoga responsive to current and future workforce needs, trends or opportunities in industry and the marketplace.
All post-secondary education programs of study at Conestoga, both full-time and part-time, which lead to an employment related credential, or are approved by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), will be associated with a PAC, with the exception of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. For any program not leading to an employment related credential, such as foundation programs, PACs are optional.
At the beginning of each year, the coordinator(s) of the program will ask for student volunteers. The coordinator(s) will select which student(s) will represent the program at PAC. Student attendees are important members of the PAC and are expected to be present at all meetings and are responsible for preparing and submitting a report based on guidelines provided by the program coordinator.
Students who participate in PACs will receive credit on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR) . Your CCR is an official document, complementary to your academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that you have achieved through approved Co-curricular experiences at Conestoga.
Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:
Key Performance Indicators
All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). This Student Experience Survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.
Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT)
The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT forms give teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.
The SAT process has two components: the Early Course Check-in and Full-SAT. The Early Course Check-in is 5 questions, occurs during week 10 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 43 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty member and their academic manager. Typically, about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term. All full-time faculty have a SAT review at least once every two years. Part-time faculty may be reviewed more frequently. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during their Continuing Education course.
Class CancellationsStudent Portal and select notifications.
Class cancellations due to inclement weather
College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations and posted on the
College's website. A message will be recorded on the campus phone line after office hours.
Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice
Program Standards for Professional Practice
You are now embarking on a career that will provide you with many personal and professional rewards, and challenges, and brings with it a great deal of responsibility. As a PSW and Supportive Care Provider, you will be delivering care to members of our society who are often the least able to care for themselves and the most in need of the kind of care you will be able to provide. The type of care and support you provide will make a difference in the lives of those you care for, their families, and their friends.
Conestoga College School of Health & Life Sciences has been given the mandate to prepare PSW and Supportive Care Providers. The Province of Ontario expects the college to graduate PSW and Supportive Care Providers who meet the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) vocational standards that have been established for the profession.
Personal Support Workers function in a dependent and interdependent environment. The majority of the time, the care provider's involvement in the care at the recipient's side is of an independent nature, when direct supervision of an action is not always possible. The client has implicit trust that the Personal Support Worker and Supportive Care Provider is an ethical, moral, and competent person. It is the responsibility of the School of Health & Life Sciences to ensure that every graduate is capable of functioning in accordance with the professional standards expected of all health sciences disciplines. As students prepare to become professionals, it is imperative that behaviours and attitudes reflect standards that Conestoga College and your chosen profession endorse.
As a student of Conestoga College, you are a member of the College community and as such you have received a Conestoga Student Guide that includes Student Rights and Student Responsibilities. You must review this section and familiarize yourself with these responsibilities. It is expected that your conduct as a student will be reflective of the responsibilities listed. If you have any questions regarding any of them, please contact your Program Coordinator.
Students are expected to behave in accordance with College policies regarding behaviour. These policies include:
- Academic Regulations and Policies
- Human Rights
- Students' Rights and Responsibilities
In addition to all Student Responsibilities found in the Conestoga Student Guide, PSW and Supportive Care students have the following obligations:
- Complete the learning objectives, tests, assignments and all other forms of student work, with honesty and professional integrity;
- Attend class, lab and field experience as scheduled;
- Actively engage in classroom, lab, and clinical learning processes;
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour while attending class, lab and field experience; protect the integrity of the Program and the college;
- Complete the Conestoga 101 Mandatory Orientation module
- Maintain the confidentiality of all classroom, lab, and field experiences, including use of any form of social media, and;
- Seek clarification from program team members/administration when unsure of any of these standards.
A PSW and Supportive Care student needs to:
- Contribute to positive team functioning and support colleagues;
- Conduct oneself in a way which promotes respect for the PSW and Supportive Care role
If a student's behaviour/conduct interferes with the learning process or in any way jeopardizes the safe environment of the classroom, lab or clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the class lab or clinical session.
"Inappropriate Behavior" or unsafe practices may require the withdrawal of the student from the course prior to the end of the course. Consequently, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.
Clinical Learning/Lab Policies
Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all programs' students
The purpose of this dress code is to ensure the safety of the student, faculty, and staff and also to prepare for the clinical environment. The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professionalism.
All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. (If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab)
Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper handwashing/hygiene is in effect.
PSW Technologists act as a resource in introducing users to the lab, maintaining the lab environment/supplies, and assisting students with practicing and evaluation of skills related to client care. PSW Technologists are also available to students requiring remedial assistance.
Accessing the PSW-ONSITE Labs
Please refer to site-specific procedures that will be posted in the Lab Course Shell.
Rules of Engagement for Simulation Experiences
There are three guidelines that everyone must follow:
1. Keep it real
The simulation environment is created with actors and scenarios requiring you to keep it real. You are expected to adhere to Program standards of conduct and professional practice to model professionalism and leadership in the simulation environment at all times.
2. Respect for others and yourself
It is important to maintain a positive, respectful environment and keep actively engaged. To maintain privacy and confidentiality and out of respect for all involved; experiences and discussions related to the experiences must never be posted via social media.
3. Constructive Reflection
This is an opportunity to improve on your performance in a safe and interactive environment. We can all learn through our actions or inactions. Keep it constructive.
Unsatisfactory Lab Procedure
Each lab is an evaluation for: accountability, safety, professionalism, critical thinking, person centred approach, and documentation.
When a lab is unsatisfactory, because of unsatisfactory feedback or missing a lab, it is the student's responsibility to provide satisfactory evidence of outcome completion. Students are accountable for the learning outcomes of both self-directed/pre-lab and lab. This procedure is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to meet the outcomes. It is not designed as a replacement for lab learning.
All unsatisfactory labs must be submitted within 48 hours of the scheduled lab. Successful completion of all lab outcomes, including skill testing, is a requirement for participation in field experiences.
Steps to demonstrate satisfactory evidence of outcome completion:
- The student will complete the checklist of the self-directed/pre-lab including Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3.
- The student will practice the skill independently to build proficiency.
- The student will submit the unsatisfactory lab procedure as outlined by faculty and/or the PSW Technologist to demonstrate satisfactory completion of the lab outcomes.
- The lab facilitator will review the unsatisfactory lab procedure using the rubric and provide feedback.
Evaluation of Unsatisfactory Lab
- Each lab is an evaluation.
- Successful completion of outcomes is required in self-directed/pre-lab and lab to be deemed satisfactory.
- If outcomes are not successfully demonstrated in the submitted missed lab, the lab will be considered unsatisfactory.
- Failure to meet course outcomes will result in an unsatisfactory lab decision tree.
Rubric for Lab
This rubric will be completed after each lab to determine if the student successfully demonstrated the lab outcomes.
All elements must be demonstrated as satisfactory to pass the lab. All labs must be satisfactory to pass the course.
| ||Satisfactory ||Unsatisfactory|
|Person centred approach|| |
|Overall Grade || || |
User Responsibility Regarding PSW-ONSITE Lab Maintenance
All users are responsible for ensuring that the Lab is maintained as a safe and tidy environment. In particular:
- All equipment is to be returned in the condition in which it was received;
- All beds are to be left in a low position, neatly made, with the furniture positioned appropriately;
- Manikins are to be handled carefully (and not placed on the floor).
All materials borrowed by facilitators and students for use outside the Lab must be signed for and returned in good condition within the specified time.
Students are responsible for the replacement of damaged or lost equipment in the Lab, or community agencies. (E.g. Student drops and breaks IVAC thermometer.)
Uniforms, Grooming and other Professional Standards
Dress Requirements for Labs
To maintain these as safe, professional spaces, the designated lab uniform must be worn. The purpose of the dress code is to ensure the safety of the student, program team members, and staff, and to prepare the student for the work environment. The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations, and professional safety. All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Program team members reserve the right to ask students who do not conform to the uniform policy to leave the work experience, community, or lab setting. Time missed will result in an unsatisfactory lab.
- Full uniform must be worn in PSW-ONSITE and college simulation labs.
- Bottom of the pant hemline must be hemmed above the sole of the shoe.
- Warm-up jackets or sweaters that coordinate with the uniform are acceptable but must not be worn during direct care.
- Undergarments must be worn; choice and style should not create a major contrast between body colour and uniform colour.
- Head coverings, if required, must be appropriately secured to ensure safety of the students and patients.
- If ¾ length shirts or t-shirts are to be worn under the designated Personal Support Worker uniform they must be black, grey or spruce green.
- Once a uniform is worn for client care, it cannot be worn in any public place until washed. If you are not going directly home after lab, you need to have a change of clothing with you.
Uniform shoes must be clean, and black or white in colour, slip-resistant with closed toes and heels and substantial enough (no mesh) to prevent foot injury. Shoes worn with the uniform are not to be worn outside of the agency. Clogs (wooden or other), and "crocs" do not meet the definition of acceptable footwear.
Conestoga identification (name tags) must be worn and visible at all times in lab. Identification must include first and last name, and designation (e.g. PSW/Supportive Care Student). Institutional Photo ID may also be required, at the discretion of the institution.
Jewelry can be a source of bacteria and injury to students and clients. For these reasons the following restrictions related to Jewelry are necessary:
- NO rings other than a plain wedding band;
- NO chains, necklaces or bracelets;
- Watches may be worn on the wrist or uniform. Watches worn on the wrist must be removed when giving direct care;
- Dangling earrings or stretchers are not acceptable. Flesh coloured spacers are acceptable.
Students are expected to meet hygiene requirements during class, lab and field experience hours.
- Maintain personal cleanliness by bathing daily.
- Oral hygiene (brushing of teeth) required.
- Use deodorant/antiperspirant to minimize body odours.
- No heavily scented perfumes, colognes and lotions. These can cause allergic reactions, migraines, and respiratory difficulty for those participating in class, lab, and field experiences.
- Wash hands after eating and using the restrooms.
During care, it is important that hair not fall forward potentially contaminating clean/sterile areas. For this reason, hair should be neat, clean, and kept out of the eyes. If hair is long, it should be tied back and secured. Long ponytails should be secured up on the head, and not allowed to dangle onto a patient field of care. Hair must be up off the shoulders. Students must be clean-shaven or have neatly trimmed beards and/or moustaches.
- Nails should be kept short, not past the fingertip, and clean.
- Nail polish, nail jewelry, and artificial nails are not permitted
Personal fragrances (perfume, colognes, lotion) and scented hair products should not be worn as fragrances can cause problems for those with allergies and sensitivities.
Smoking in any agency must be in designated areas only. Many health care facilities are smoke-free.
Chewing gum is not allowed in the clinic, lab, field experience, or in the shared spaces of the Living Classrooms.
Food and Beverages
Food and beverages in an agency setting are allowed in designated areas only. (E.g. Staff lounge areas, café, etc.)
Cellphones and/or smartphones for personal use are not permitted in clinic, lab, field experience, or in the shared spaces of the Living Classrooms.
Please Note: Purses, coats, knapsacks, and extra books (except for Sorrentino's textbook) are to be left in a student locker and are not permitted in labs.
What is Academic Integrity?
Having academic integrity means acting fairly and honestly when engaging in academic activities.
By having and applying an Academic Offences Policy and Procedure, Conestoga ensures graduates complete their studies fairly and honestly through hard work and dedication, and thus are well-prepared for their future careers.
Conestoga facilitates access to print, media, and electronic resources to support and enrich learning, teaching, and research in compliance with the following:
Plagiarism is submitting or presenting work of another person(s)/organization in whole or substantial part as one's own without proper citation and referencing.
Academic Offences and Plagiarism
Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. It is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy described on the Policies and Procedures page. The Academic Offences Policy provides a detailed description of the following:
- Scope of academic integrity;
- What academic integrity means;
- What types of behaviours constitute a breach of academic integrity; and
- The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.
Please speak with a faculty member or your Program Coordinator if you have any further questions after reviewing the policy. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is essential and that it is your responsibility to know the
Academic Offences Policy.
Below are a few examples to help you avoid breaching academic integrity:
- Make sure you recognize information that requires referencing.
- Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. See the Student Success Services website for assistance with formatting and referencing.
- If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, make sure you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
- Read the Academic Offences Policy and make sure that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.
- If you require more information, see the Academic Integrity website.
Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who aims to become a healthcare professional.
There are several policies and procedures associated with practical training that has been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These policies will be reviewed during your program.
The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention:
- Your safety begins with the use of professional attire and footwear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.
- Please help us create a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, ensuring laptop cords do not snake across walking areas, and reporting equipment or facility problems when you notice these.
- Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioural conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.
- Safe work practices are to be followed during all training. Follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a placement, your instructor will ensure that you know safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the instructor and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required.
- All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately.
Student Protection Acknowledgement
A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures".Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:
- Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
- Academic Offences Policy & Procedure
- Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
- Convocation Procedure
- Co-operative Education Policy
- Discontinuance Procedure
- Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
- Grading Procedure
- Program and Course Withdrawal and Refund Procedure/International Student Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
- Readmission Procedure
- Religious Holiday Policy & Procedure
- Student Expectations for Online Engagement
- Student Feedback Policy
- Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure
- Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure
Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfil and enforce these standards.
The Student Engagement Department is here to help you transition to the Conestoga College experience, connect with your community, and build your skills.
Start your college experience by completing Conestoga 101 (CON0101) on eConestoga, a mandatory course for all new full-time students that will take you approximately one hour to complete. CON0101 provides an overview of the supports, services, and opportunities available to you throughout your time at Conestoga. Make sure you complete it early on in the term, as it contains valuable information that will help you transition to Conestoga.
Professional Conduct - Use of technology
To support a respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placements, the use of technology for social networking can only occur during break times, before and after class, and during formal break time in field placement.
Social Media Policy
As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain your professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.
According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet." The same organization also indicates that "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment.
- Assume the information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
- Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
- Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, faculty or field placements.
- Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
- Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the expressed permission of all individuals involved.
- Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
- Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences.
- Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
- Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.
Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media
Cell Phone Policy
Students should respect their instructors, faculty and staff by not using their cell phones for personal use during class time.
Students can not bring their cell phone or technology device(s) into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty.
In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test, please speak to your faculty as soon as you enter the examination room.
Safety and Security at Riverside Glen
In the Event of a Fire Alarm/Emergency
- Conestoga program team members and students will stop and listen to the announcement.
- If the emergency is in the Retirement side of the building (will be in the announcement) remain in the classrooms and continue to listen for any further instructions.
- If you feel more comfortable leaving the building, you must exit via the Fire Exit door and designated fire route.
- If the emergency is in the Long-Term Care side of the building (will be in the announcement), leave the building via the Fire Exit door and follow the designated fire route.
ParkingParking is provided at no charge for Conestoga College students at the Village of Riverside Glen. All students are to park in a designated area only. These areas will be identified during the first week of the program. If all parking spots are taken, students must park in designated alternate areas. These areas will be identified during the first week of the program. Under no circumstance are students to park in other parking areas other than designated areas. These areas are for residents and visitors and many are owned and paid for by the residents.
Access to Conestoga College Areas at the Village of Riverside Glen
Conestoga College areas at Riverside Glen are for Conestoga College Students only.
The back door from the student parking area is secured and entry can only be accessed by using the security code number. You will be notified of this security code the first week of class. Under no circumstance is this code to be shared with any other person who is not a student in your program.
All Conestoga College students must wear their college picture identification badge while in the Villages of Riverside Glen. Students must also have an available copy of their completed health passport and a clear VSS.
All PSW and Supportive Care students at Riverside Glen will be assigned a locker for their personal use throughout the program. Each student must provide their own lock. Reminders to clean out and empty the assigned locker will be provided near the end of the program. One month after completion of the program, any remaining locks will be removed, and contents discarded.
Safety and Security at University Gates
In the Event of a Fire Alarm/Emergency
- Conestoga Faculty and students will stop and listen to the announcement.
- If the emergency is in the long-term care side of the building (will be in the announcement) remain in the classrooms and continue to listen for any further instructions.
- If you feel more comfortable leaving the building you must exit via the Fire Exit door and designated fire route as mentioned below.
If the emergency is in the RIA building:
- The page will tell you where the emergency is.
- You will then exit by the "Fire Exit" door.
- There are emergency exit arrows on the walls to direct you to the "Fire Exit" door and a "Fire Exit" sign is at the Fire Exit door.
A Conestoga College parking pass needs to be obtained. All students are to park in designated areas only. These areas will be identified during the first week of the program. Under no circumstance are students to park in other parking areas other than designated areas. These areas are for residents and family and many are owned and paid for by the residents.
Under no circumstance is the code for any of the doors at the Village at University Gates to be shared with any other person who is not a student in your program.
All Conestoga College students must wear their college picture identification badge while in The Village of University Gates. Students must also have an available copy of their clear health passport and their VSS.
All PSW and Supportive Care students at University Gates will be assigned a locker for their personal use throughout the program. Each student must provide their own lock. Reminders to clean out and empty the assigned locker will be provided near the end of the program. One month after completion of the program, any remaining locks will be removed, and contents discarded.
Guidelines for Student Use of Classrooms, Labs, and Shared Spaces
Classrooms and Labs all make up the formal learning environment at Conestoga. For this reason, it is expected that these spaces be considered an extension of the professional world you are aspiring to enter. In keeping with this, when using classrooms, labs, and shared spaces:
- Be mindful of your language and your attire; both choice of words and tone.
- Discussions of an unprofessional nature or of unrelated topics should not take place and will be actively discouraged by Conestoga program team members.
- Be considerate of other students, residents, visitors, and the team when walking through the halls or neighbourhoods, by avoiding unnecessary noise.
- No food and only bottled water (with a cap) in classrooms.
- No food or drink in clinical lab areas, or in computer lab areas.
- The materials and equipment from the lab must remain in the lab unless specific permission has been given to use them elsewhere and they have been "signed out".
- Show respect for the learning environment and equipment.
- Come prepared for lab and to review the related theory and assigned video(s) prior to coming to lab.
- Leave rooms clean after each class.
- Permission must be given by program team members before using any of the materials or equipment in labs or classrooms.
- Please remember that the labs and neighbourhoods are clinical settings. The requirement for proper hand hygiene is always in effect.
Note: It is expected that students will take the opportunity to practice lab skills between lab classes. Past experiences have shown that students who practice are more likely to be successful.
Students may be required to complete a confidentiality agreement from the program coordinator.
Attendance and Student Success Strategies
Students are expected to arrive on time for classroom, lab, and field experiences. Repeated late arrivals may result in the student being removed from the experience and impact their success in the course.
Health Sciences Programs, including the PSW and Supportive Care programs, include a competency-based curriculum with defined learning outcomes, which place a great deal of emphasis on students attaining the theoretical and practical skills required to enter the profession. Success in a program depends on students being able to demonstrate that they have met these learning outcomes.
Students who are absent from class, lab, clinical, and field experiences place themselves in academic jeopardy of not meeting the competency-based learning outcomes of the Program. Students are therefore expected to attend all classes, lab, and field experiences as scheduled by the program.
Students are expected to report their absence in the student portal and initiate a discussion with the specified program team member prior to the missed evaluation, class, lab, or field placement to discuss how the learning outcomes are to be met for the particular classes, lab, and/or field experience missed. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student's eligibility to continue in the program.
In support of the development of professionalism, students are required to take all evaluations at the scheduled times.
- Students who make personal commitments that conflict with the evaluation dates or assignment deadlines do so at their own risk.
- No special arrangements will be made for students with personal conflicts (e.g. work, family commitments or vacation plans).
- Students who wish to reschedule an evaluation or a presentation due to a religious holiday are required to discuss the situation with program team members within the first two weeks of the semester.
- Academic accommodations are provided to students with documented disabilities through the Accessibility Office.
Students are supported by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day(s) because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the missed work or complete alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.
Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council.
It is your responsibility to:
- Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
- Advise the faculty that you will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday. You will also make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Program Chair.
In-Person Theory Exams:
- Once a test begins, students may not leave the test room for 30 minutes. If they finish a test before that time, they may review their answers but are expected to sit QUIETLY and not disturb others. Once students leave the room they may only re-enter when invited back by Faculty.
- Any student found cheating during the course of an examination/test will be addressed according to procedures found in Conestoga Student Guide.
- Faculty is responsible to advise as to the material permitted in the testing room. Personal items and learning materials will be left in an area identified by the faculty.
- Faculty will advise as to the seating arrangements of students.
- During open book tests, students must bring their own course materials (books, notes, Learning Packages etc.) for individual use only. Students may not share any of these materials. Electronic devices, such as iPods, text messaging, cell phones, translators, will not be permitted.
On-Line or Remote Theory Exams:
- Tests that are written in virtual testing environments are not considered open book unless specified by faculty.
- While writing virtual tests, students may be required to use a lockdown browser and appear on a webcam for the duration of the test.
Importance of Test and Presentation Dates
Test and assignment dates are scheduled at the beginning of each semester. Unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the College, the Program, or the Faculty may require changes to the course schedule. If this occurs, students will be notified.
Students are required to write all tests during the scheduled in-class test times. Students who make personal commitments that conflict with meeting test and assignment deadlines do so at their own risk. There will be no special arrangements made for students with personal conflicts (e.g. work, family commitments or vacation plans). Students who wish to reschedule a test or presentation because of a religious holiday are required to discuss the situation with faculty at the beginning of the semester.
Academic accommodations are provided to students with documented disabilities through the Accessibility Services Office.
The expectation of Health Professionals is that they complete assigned work competently and in the allocated time, or if they anticipate difficulty in meeting deadlines they take responsibility for notifying the appropriate person(s).
The following regulations regarding assignments reflect this belief and are designed to ensure that graduates of the programs meet these expectations.
- Students are required to submit all written assignments on or before the date and time specified.
- Students should anticipate problems that will necessitate an extension of time.
- If an extension of time is required, students may make this request ahead of the assignment due date to the appropriate course instructor. NOTE: An extension of time may be given at the discretion of faculty. An extension will not be given if the request is made on the day the assignment is due.
- Late assignments will be accepted but there will be a 10% penalty for each day the assignment is late up to three days. Assignments that are more than three days late will receive a grade of zero.
- All assignments must be completed. A student will not receive a passing final grade until all assignments have been submitted even if the late penalty reduces the points possible to zero. All late submissions must be turned in by noon on Friday before the week of final exams.
- Assignments are to be submitted according to the submission guidelines and in the format as outlined by the professor.
Submitting Assignments Outside of Class Time
While assignments may be submitted in class or via eConestoga on the day they are due, if circumstances require that they be submitted outside a scheduled class, the following procedure should be followed:
- Provide an electronic copy of your assignment to the faculty as per faculty instructions.
- Contact Faculty by email to alert them that you have submitted your assignment.
- Bring the hard copy of the assignment with an attached copy of the email you sent to the faculty member to the 4B reception area and submit into the Assignment Drop Box by the Receptionist desk.
Working Together on Group Assignments
Students will often work with their fellow peers on various group assignments/projects throughout the program. Each group member is responsible for ensuring that they have an equal role in the group. All students in the group should review the completed work before it is submitted/presented. When issues/concerns arise during the group process, it is the responsibility of group members to contact the faculty member for assistance prior to due date.
Faculty Returning Tests & Assignments
- At least 24 hours after receiving the mark and within 7 days, write a note to the faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required;
- Initiate a meeting with the faculty to discuss the matter; and
- Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment.
General Guidelines for Quality of Written Work
In the Health & Life Science programs, both in courses and clinical placement, there are continuous requirements for written work in a variety of formats (papers, assignments, forms and plans, handouts, etc.). It is expected that all students will meet the standard of English required within the profession. Faculty, clinical placement supervisors and cooperating instructors will identify students who are having difficulty in this area and will approach them to discuss the need for improvement. Students may be referred to the Learning Commons to help them improve the quality of their written work.
General Guidelines for Submitting Written Work
For specific course requirements, refer to the Course Schedule and Evaluation Methods information provided in course outlines. If you are not clear about course requirements, discuss this with your faculty.
Unless otherwise indicated by instructors, generally, assignments should be:
- Double spaced and one sided
- Submitted using font size of 12 CPI and standard 1" margins
- Written in a grammatically correct manner (use spell and grammar check)
- Handed in securely fastened with a cover page indicating the course name, faculty's name, student's name, section and date submitted
- Handed in at the beginning of class on the designated due date in class, unless otherwise indicated by instructor
- Formatted using APA@Conestoga
Evaluation of Lab Skills
- Independent Practice: Student practices on their own time without supervision.
- Supervised Practice: Student practices a skill under direct PSW Technologist supervision allowing for input from PSW Technologist either by questions or demonstration.
- Return: Student performs the skill unassisted in the Lab setting. The PSW Technologist is present to observe and may provide minimal input while the student is doing the procedure. Student performance will be tracked.
- Field experience/Scenario: Student demonstrates performance competency in a realistic yet controlled setting.
Criteria for Tracking Lab Skills
To be considered satisfactory in the performance of clinical/lab skills, students must meet certain criteria. Some criteria are appropriate for all skills, and some are more specific to a particular skill.
The following are criteria for all lab skills:
- Be prepared to discuss the principles for any of the actions performed.
- Appropriate observations and assessments of the patient/ client must be made.
- If not recognized and corrected by the student, any break in previously learned principles, i.e. asepsis, body mechanics, etc., is considered unsatisfactory.
- Accomplish the goal in a reasonable amount of time and in a logical sequence. The procedure must be carried out in a reasonable amount of time.
- The student must evaluate the client's response to the procedure when appropriate.
- Principles relating to the comfort and safety of the client must be followed.
- The student must demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour and communication skills during all clinical/lab experiences.
- Tracking of clinical/lab skills occurs in all lab courses. Students must be deemed successful in performing all practice skills to achieve an overall pass in the lab course. Students may be offered the opportunity to repeat a lab course at a regularly scheduled time in a subsequent semester.
Students completing work experiences are expected to follow the policies and procedures of the employer. Not following the policies could jeopardize meeting the outcomes of the course for work experience.
PSW Technologists and faculty are committed to providing students with support during work experience that enhances learning and ensures the safety of clients in the field experience setting. The program is designed to ensure that students are equipped with optimal theoretical and practical knowledge in order to provide safe care to clients.
Methods of Evaluation
Methodology for evaluation includes:
- Presentations – enhances group work and clear, concise spoken communication
- Written assignments – enhances clear, concise written communication
- Observation of clinical and lab performance
- Preparation and participation
- Verbal demonstration of learning
Types of Evaluation
Formative evaluation is an ongoing process whereby the teaching/learning team and students collect data during the learning phase of the student's practice. Students will submit reflections as directed by the course facilitator. A midterm formative evaluation may be completed. The teaching/learning team monitors the student's progress toward achievement of the semester/program outcomes and provides ongoing feedback to the student on a regular basis.
This is the final evaluation at the end of the practice experience. Summative evaluation is the documentation of the behaviour the student has mastered and the behaviour that the student must improve or change. This evaluation should contain all the information that has been shared with the student during the period of learning.
This document is completed by both the student and the practice facilitator at the completion of the experience as the process for documenting summative evaluation data/analysis of the student's practice experiences over the semester.
Academic Progress Through the Program
Academic Standing and Promotion
The Conestoga Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. The Conestoga Student Guide is available on the college website and by visiting the "Student Guide" tab in your Student Portal.
- Students must attain the minimum passing grade stated on each Course Outline (65% in all the core PSW and Supportive Care courses; usually 65% in other General Education courses, and pass all lab components).
- Students who have met all course requirements at each level will be promoted to the following level or graduation.
The PSW and Supportive Care program courses are designed to be taken in a certain order since the content of a number of the courses builds on the content in some of the preceding courses. A student who fails certain courses may not be permitted to go on to some of the subsequent courses before achieving a passing grade in the course they have failed. This may mean that such student will have to drop to "part-time" status, or even be suspended from the Program, and resume their full-time studies with the next group of students entering the Program.
Part-time students must discuss the order in which they are taking courses with the Program Coordinator before enrolling in the course(s).
Requirements for Taking the Work Experience Courses
All level 1 lab and theory courses must be completed successfully prior to a student being eligible for work experience in level 2.
Promotion is the advancement from one level of the program to another after a process of evaluation, which ensures specific program outcomes have been met. Promotion is based on academic achievement, satisfactory practice performance, and professionalism.
Promotion review occurs at the completion of each course and level. Criteria for being reviewed by the promotion committee include:
Note: The nature of the work of Personal Support Workers requires that they be in good mental and physical health in order to provide the necessary care for others. Students who are not in good physical and mental health may not be able to meet the program's Learning Outcomes.
You can add, change and drop courses from your portal depending on the dates and which program you are in:
- Log in to the Student Portal
- Click on the "My Courses" tab
- Scroll over the icons to the right of individual course listings. It is strongly recommended that students consult their Program Coordinator and/or Academic Advisor prior to dropping a course.
Students who have been unsuccessful in their field experience, have failed two or more academic courses, and/or have required considerable testing/assignment variances may be recommended for academic probation. Academic probation allows students to be promoted to the next level with academic conditions. Academic conditions are designed as part of written learning contract that the student and Associate Chair create together. The goal of these measures is to allow students to continue in the program accompanied by a supportive plan for success.
Reason for Student Progress Being Reviewed by Promotion Committee
Students who fail to meet program standards will be reviewed by the Promotion Committee.
Reasons for presentation at Promotion Committee Meetings include:
- Failure of a theory course and/or practice course.
- Patterns of absence from online learning environment or WIL experience, which may affect achieving program standards.
- Failure to follow through on previous Promotion Committee recommendations.
A student who has not met the standards will not be promoted to the next level of the program:
- Complete supplemental requirements for course failures (see criteria for writing of supplemental examinations). Following successful completion of supplemental work, the highest course grade that can be achieved is the minimum passing mark for the course.
- Follow through with counselling (academic and/or personal).
- Follow through with health measures as recommended.
- Complete makeup work for missed learning experiences. Total time lost will be assessed on an individual basis. Additional time may be required to complete program objectives.
- Complete the requirements of Probationary Status.
- Complete compulsory practice remedial assignments.
Clearance of Academic Deficiency
A student that is unsuccessful in a course may be granted the opportunity to complete supplemental requirements. Students who are unsuccessful in a course and wish to discuss eligibility for supplemental opportunity must directly contact the course instructor within five (5) working days of receiving the final course grade.
Please note that following the end of the semester, contact with any student eligible to write a supplemental will be made either by phone or email. A specific date and time will be given to each student. If a student cannot be reached or is unavailable at the specified date and time, the student forfeits the opportunity to write a supplemental.
Students who have one course failure within the semester and have regularly attended the failed class may be offered supplemental work based on eligibility criteria. Supplemental work will take place after each course.
Eligibility for Supplemental- must meet all of the following criteria:
- Must have passed at least one test/exam in the course in which the failure occurred;
- Final course grade must be within 10% of the passing grade e.g. minimum of 55% for courses with a passing grade of 65%;
- Has not used more than 2 supplemental while in the program. A maximum of 2 supplemental opportunities are permitted throughout the program.
A student who is successful in the supplemental work will receive the minimum passing grade for the course. Failure to pass a supplemental will result in either:
- Repeating the course, if eligible.
- Discontinuance from the program, if meets discontinuance criteria.
For more information, visit the College Policies, Procedures, Practices and Guidelines webpage at https://www.conestogac.on.ca/about/corporate-information/policies then click on the Academic Administration side tab and search for the document entitled Clearance of Academic Deficiency.
Students who fail to meet the program standards (academically, clinically, or ethically) will be discontinued from the program, based on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee and agreement from the Associate Chair. Students will be discontinued when they are no longer eligible to repeat a course based on academic regulations or as a result of failure to meet program standards for behaviour or ethics. Such students will be entitled to appeal the discontinuance decision in accordance with the College's appeal process.
Students not planning to return to the program the following semester are expected to complete a Withdrawal Form available from the registrar's office, or on the college website.
Prior to transferring to another program, it is recommended that the student meets with the Program Coordinator and/or Academic Advisor. Students who decide to change programs may do so by completing and submitting a program application form to the Registrar's Office. If considering transferring to a program outside the school in which currently enrolled in, students may want to discuss options with a Career Advisor. When a student moves from one Conestoga program to another and where course numbers/codes are identical or equivalent, automatic credit is given if passing grades are met.
Students have the right to appeal any academic decisions as set out in the Conestoga Academic Decision Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure. It is recommended that students begin this appeal process by first connecting with the faculty and/or Program Chair.
Academic Rules Pertaining to Discontinuance
- The opportunity to repeat a PSW/Supportive Care theory or lab course resulting from course failure will be granted only once during the duration of the program. If a student is discontinued from the program and is later readmitted, the student will not be granted a repeat of a newly failed theory or lab course.
- The maximum number of course hours that can be repeated is 80% of total course hours per level of the program.
- Any individual course can only be repeated once.
Readmission to the Program
To be readmitted to the program, the student must apply through the registrar's office by April 1st for fall term and November 1st for winter term. Readmission is based on seat availability and academic status.
Guidelines for Approving Readmission
Students will be rank ordered for readmission using the following criteria:
- Students in good academic standing who have withdrawn from the program due to illness or personal circumstances.
- Students who have one discontinuance as a result of course failure and whose academic status/performance and extra-curricular preparation suggest that they will be successful in the program if readmitted.
Students who do not meet the above criteria will not be readmitted. If there are more students within any category than space in the program can accommodate, the following academic factors will also be considered when categorizing students for readmission:
- Students in good academic standing: overall grade point average (GPA), evidence that the illness or personal circumstances are managed.
- Students with one discontinuance: GPA and the number of courses failed and dropped.
Only one opportunity to be readmitted is permitted. A student who repeats a previously failed course and does not pass that course will be discontinued.
Students who complete their program are required to fill out an Application to Graduate form and submit it with payment to the Registrar's Office. Students who are discontinued or have withdrawn and then return to the college will be placed in the current program design and must meet all requirements to graduate. Students will receive an invitation for convocation through the Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the winter, spring, and fall of each academic year.
General Education ElectivesStudents are required to complete General Education elective courses as part of their program requirements. General Education elective course requirements are listed at the bottom of the progress report, which is found on the Student Portal under My Courses. The progress report indicates the level/semester in which the course must be taken. Students are responsible for adding General Education electives into their schedule for the designated semester. Eligible courses are posted each semester by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies on the College's elective website. For more information and to view the current elective course offerings, visit https://www.conestogac.on.ca/electives/diploma. Questions regarding General Education electives can be directed to the School of Interdisciplinary Studies: email@example.com
Process for resolution of student concerns
To resolve any concerns that may arise during a course, clinical or field placement, or relating to the overall program, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level before proceeding to a formal appeal.
If attempts have been made for a resolution, yet no satisfactory outcome was reached, students are encouraged to refer to the Policies and Procedures page, and to follow the procedures outlined under the
"Academic Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure".
Work-Integrated Learning Experiences
Student Consent Forms
Students are required to complete program specific consent forms if applicable. To access the forms, students need to visit the WIL Document Services Community in myConestoga and see Consent Forms tab.
Program Field Placement Requirements
All PSW and Supportive Care students are required to complete a field placement in the form of work experience to graduate from the program. Work experience will be completed in the second half of the program. Additionally, there may be volunteer or field activity opportunities available for students to engage in within the first half of the program, though this is not required in the program.
To qualify for participation in field experiences required in the program, students must provide the appropriate documentation.
The following documentation may be required as a future PSW and Supportive Care Provider in the workforce, including documentation required for field experiences as a PSW and Supportive Care student. Required documentation may vary according to individual employers.
- An annual Police Check including a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) must be completed in Ontario. Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in work experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Some employers may request students to provide a VSC completed within six months of start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
- Current immunizations. Proof of immunization or laboratory blood test results including: Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), Varicella/chickenpox, Hepatitis B, Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap), Polio, COVID-19, and Seasonal Influenza vaccine
- Current TB Status. Evidence of 2-step testing.
- Current Standard First Aid and CPR - BLS level (must be completed in Canada).
- Respirator fit testing.
Travel and accommodation required within the program: Students are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodation to and from learning settings external to the College and for covering any costs incurred.
Applicants are advised that accessibility to a car may be required for field experiences.
Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)
All students who participate in unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on WIL experience. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to WIL experience sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.
Prior to your first WIL experience, you must electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) while you are on training WIL experiences. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your WIL experience.
Additional Requirements-AODA Training
The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Students must complete AODA training in the first semester.
Basic Safety Training
Conestoga College is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe work and study environment.
General safety considerations will be provided in the orientation for specific classroom and lab locations. Throughout your course of study, your teacher will guide you through the use of safe work practices. Safety considerations and the safe handling and use of equipment in the labs are incorporated within the learning outcomes of your program.
It is the student's responsibility to follow guidelines for safety once they have been taught and to ensure that they have had training on the use of any equipment prior to its use.
Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner will be asked to leave the lab or classroom.
The PSW Technologist and Clinical Simulation Educator have the authority to ask any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner to leave the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.
Field Experience Standards
In the PSW and Supportive Care Program, we believe that learning is based on an integrated balance of theory and practice. The field experiences provide learning opportunities to apply theory to practice.
Prior to field experiences, students may receive written guidelines outlining specific procedures to be followed during field experience. These guidelines cover punctuality, absences, illnesses, dress codes, insurance coverage, and the reporting of accidents or incidents which may impact the health and safety of students or residents/clients at the field experiences. Students are expected to adhere closely to these guidelines.
As a PSW/Supportive Care student, it is important to present in a professional manner, particularly when in a field experience setting (community or institution). A professional demeanour and appearance are important in establishing effective working relationships with clients and colleagues. As an employee in any agency providing field experience, it is important always to act and dress appropriately, and students will be required to follow their employer policies.
The PSW and Supportive Care Program are committed to applying the following standards when evaluating students during their field experiences:
- Assessing student performance.
- Allowing for individual learning/performance strengths and deficits.
- Facilitating mutual goal setting.
- Offering a variety of practice settings from which evaluative data can be gathered.
- Communicating evaluative data verbally and through established written documents.
STANDARD #2:The practice evaluation will ensure that the achievement and measurement of field experience learning outcomes is facilitated by:
- Clearly identifying performance outcomes for each field experience.
- Communicating clearly the expected behavioural changes to the students in each field experience.
- Assessing the student's current level of performance against the course outcomes, utilizing multiple sources of evaluative data.
STANDARD #3:The practice evaluation will ensure that all students receive due process as they
- Making program expectations known, clear, and realistic.
- Basing assessments and judgments of practice performance on accurate, significant, and relevant sources of data.
- Informing students as soon as performance deficits are identified.
- Respecting students' self-evaluation as they develop self-assessment skills.
- Counselling students on corrective actions so that program success can be achieved.
- Facilitating access to appropriate program/college support services and resources.
- Making the consequences of choices known to the student.
STANDARD #4:The practice evaluation will ensure that the evaluation of students within the Personal
- Offering due process for all students.
- Insisting upon confidentiality in all verbal and written communication with students.
- Respecting the student's interests and values.
- Facilitating and respecting the student's informed choices related to program performance.
- Supporting any student who withdraws from the program.
Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for parking while on field experience.
Additional Information for Students
Change of Name, Address, and Telephone Number
Change of name, home/temporary residence address, and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the Registrar's office. Forms for reporting changes are available on the Student Portal. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the college and the student.
Guidelines and Expenses Incurred Relating to Field Placement and Labs
Students will assume responsibility for expenses incurred while assigned to affiliating agencies, such as meals, lockers, keys, parking, travel expenses, and uniforms.
Part-Time Work While Completing the Program
While students are enrolled in the PSW/Supportive Care Program:
- Student priority needs to be safe competent care in their role as a student.
- There is no WSIB coverage or insurance through the College or the Ministry while students engage in work experience with an employer.
- Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College logo or the Conestoga College student uniform while completing work experience.
- Students should realize that, historically, students who work a lot of part-time hours while completing theory and lab classes are less successful in the program.
- Students who are completing work experience with an employer must follow policies and procedures of the employer including infection prevention and control policy that may require they only work with one employer.
Reference Letter from Program Team Members
Reference letters are to be negotiated with appropriate program team members on an individual basis. Students should discuss the appropriateness of a telephone reference check or formal letters with program team members prior to giving the potential employer their contact information.
*It is not appropriate for the Program Coordinator or Chair to provide detailed reference information to potential employers.
Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available through our partnerships with local businesses, industry leaders, and generous donors. To be considered for an award, you will need to complete the General Application form through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts. For more information, please visit Student Financial Services.
Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours
Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2022
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga has developed an academic delivery plan for the Fall 2022 semester. The safety and well-being of our college community remains our highest priority. Our academic plans and decisions continue to be based on the advice of public health authorities.
Back on campus
We look forward to continuing to welcome students back in person and on campus for the fall term. There are three ways in which programs will be delivered:
Hybrid: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. Most class hours will be delivered in person, with a few hours delivered remote/online.
On campus: You will be required to attend in-person classes at your assigned campus. All class hours will be delivered in person.
Remote: Remote programs will be delivered fully online. There will be no in-person classes.
Details regarding classes and delivery formats will be provided in your program schedule (timetable).
Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. *
Program courses may use web-based services with data centres outside of Canada. Students may be expected to complete assessments where information is transmitted outside of Canada. Students who do not wish to submit their information to other countries have the right to opt-out. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit an alternate assignment.
Course examinations may be administered through a remote proctoring service to assure academic integrity. Ensure that you meet the system requirements that will allow the recording of your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.
Attendance at Evaluations
Working Together to Plan Your Success
Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.
Attendance for Evaluations
Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend. If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.
Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.
While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.
In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:
- To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
- To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
- To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
- To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
- To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.
- To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
- To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
- If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.
How to Report Absences on the Student Portal
- Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
- Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
- Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
- Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
- You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.
Important! Please note the following:
- The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
- The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
- If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
- When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.
Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%
Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.
Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More
Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.
Alternative Evaluation Arrangements
- Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate. During the pandemic, on-campus Test Centres will be closed.
- Students will complete any necessary forms.
- Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
Program Handbook Revision Log
|Last Revised||By Whom|
|June 25th, 2015||Jillian Grant|
|June 25, 2015||Lynn Voelzing|
|August 31, 2015||Nicole Dorscht|
|June 17, 2016||Lori Strauss|
|June 27, 2016||Nicole Dorscht|
|June 2, 2017||Krisden Galloway|
|June 23, 2017||Brett Gibson|
|May 29, 2018||Krisden Galloway|
|July 9, 2019||Julia Rodricks|
|July 20, 2020||Beth Davidson|
|July 14, 2021||Beth Davidson|
|June 10, 2022||Beth Davidson|
Conestoga's Accessible Learning services provide support for students with permanent and temporary disabilities who feel they are encountering barriers to learning. They work with students to understand the impact of a disability in the college environment and will help develop a success plan that considers student goals and required academic accommodations. Accessible Learning will also communicate necessary accommodations to professors on behalf of the student.
To consult with an Accessibility Advisor about accommodations please make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 519-748-5220 ext. 3232.
Exceptions for non-accessibility focused issues need to be consulted on with your professor. Final approval for exceptions unrelated to academic accommodations rests with the program chair.