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When you think of a nurse, what image comes to mind? Most likely, you thought of a person wearing scrubs with a stethoscope around their neck, moving from bed to bed in a hospital, or administering COVID vaccines at one of the many clinics currently set up across Canada. And these are certainly vital, important nursing roles. But nurses fill many additional roles within our healthcare system, beyond the ones we initially think of. 

This week, we celebrate National Nursing Week in Canada, and this year’s theme is “we answer the call.” The theme highlights the diverse roles that nurses play within our health care system.

At Circle of Care, we hire Registered Nurses (RNs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) into the role of Client Services Supervisors, called CSSs for short. Our CSSs play an important role within our organization to ensure our clients’ health and safety needs are being met. 

“Our team does not provide hands-on care like nurses do in a hospital setting but they haven’t forgotten their bedside manner,” explains Reeshma H., Professional Practice Lead of the CSS team. “Our CSSs continue to practice a major nursing skill which is  clinical assessments. They use this information to create individualized care and support plans for each and every one of their clients to ensure all their clients’ needs are met. As a result they contribute to helping our clients continue to live as independently as possible in their own homes..” 

Each of our CSSs work with a diverse team to ensure our clients receive the care they need. They communicate and connect with those who are seeing our clients regularly – our Personal Support Workers (PSWs), Homemakers, and our clients’ loved ones. They also stay on top of any changes to a client’s health status, and make sure that all personnel who work with our clients are also aware and educated about these changes. Our CSS team are huge collaborators, not only do they connect with internal teams when ironing out the details of individualized support but they also liaise with external partners and organizations to advocate for their clients or connect them with additional support. By working closely with their teams of PSWs, Homemakers, and Service Coordinators, they are able to create a support plan which makes a meaningful difference in our clients’ lives. 

As part of their role, they perform a home visit, which allows them to visually see how our clients are interacting in their homes, and whether their care is meeting their needs. Even during the pandemic, some of the home visits are still being completed in-person, with CSSs donning full PPE before entering their clients’ homes.

Not only are the CSSs responsible for the health and safety of their clients but they are also the direct supervisors of our frontline workers (PSWs & Homemakers). The CSSs impart their knowledge of nursing skills and practices onto their PSWs through delegations. Our CSSs work within their scope of practice and regulations set forth by the College of Nurses of Ontario to teach PSWs to perform specialized care to individual clients. They are leaders, mentors, coaches and supporters of their PSWs and Homemakers. 

After one of our CSSs completed a home visit, the client’s daughter reached out, grateful for the prompt response: “I deeply appreciate all the help and information, and for understanding what my mother needs. Our CSS gives us hope for the future. People like her make lives better.”

“I am sincere when I say that, at least once a week, my mom will say something nice about her PSWs, and immediately we say it’s all because of her CSS,” a client’s family member wrote. “The amount of quality of life my mom has is due to her CSS’s kindness in getting her the help that she needs.”

In the age of the pandemic, our CSSs are also providing vaccination support. In March, as part of a Toronto Public Health pilot, our CSS were part of a team that visited a Toronto Public Housing building with many Russian-speaking Circle of Care clients, to offer a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The Circle of Care team helped translate and communicate the importance of receiving a vaccine, complete consent forms, provide answers to the residents’ questions, and monitor the residents post-vaccination for any adverse reactions. 

Our CSS team is an essential group who continue to go above their call of duty to support all of our clients’ needs. Thank you to each of our CSSs for their hard work and dedication that they commit to each day! Thank you Christina D., Dionne J., Jane Y., Jennifer H., Jessica R., Judita S., Kira S., Leanne G., Lina D., Lina P., Mae J., Margaryta T., Marina D., Millicent W., Muna S, Natalie V., Olena Z., Olisa O., Reeshma H., Shirley B., Sylvia M., Tara S., and Valentina M.!

Connect with us if you think there’s a special Client Services Supervisor who deserves more recognition! We welcome you to nominate them for a Champions of Care award. (Note: Award nominations run each year from April 1 to March 31).