Myrtle Morrison is a PSW at Revera Kennedy Lodge Long Term Care Home in Scarborough, Ont. Myrtle participated in the facing management stream of SEIU Healthcare’s 2018 Fall Academy.
Myrtle was born in Jamaica and raised by her loving grandmother. She emigrated to Canada when she was 19 years old to move in with her mother and stepfather. Unfortunately, the relationship with her mother was not a loving one. She experienced mental and physical abuse.
She moved back to Jamaica after only a few months but returned shortly after realizing she could find a job and move out on her own. Each year, she returned to Jamaica to visit her aging grandmother, and while there she tried to assist with her grandmother’s care, but her grandmother refused because she thought she was too young. So, her grandmother had to wait until her aunt was available to do her care.
“It was hard to see my grandmother not getting the best care, so I became interested about wanting to care for others,” says Myrtle. “I had done other jobs, but I knew that taking care of the elderly was what I really wanted to do. I have been a healthcare aid/PSW since 1984 and passionate about it ever since.”
Myrtle has documented her personal life story in a published book called: “Mother Dearest, Imperfect Love”.
Myrtle says the Academy was very informative and that she learned a lot of tools that she can now use in her workplace. A good message she learned is to listen more often than you speak.
She says she was validated in her approach to dealing with management:
“I must admit that I always face management with respect and I find they do listen to me,” says Myrtle. “Some people face management with attitude and it is not received well. I agree with the lesson from the Academy that being respectful is important.”
The certified mental health program was very valuable, says Myrtle. “I have had many co-workers come to me to discuss stresses they experience. This program gave me good techniques on where to direct these people if they need help.”
“Sometimes people just need to sit and talk and so I listen to their stories. They walk away feeling a lot better because someone heard them. I’m a helper—I spare no one.”
Myrtle says the social aspect of the Academy was amazing. “I made so many new friends. The environment was so wonderful that whenever I met someone new, I could say ‘hello, sister or hello, brother, how are you?’ and easily start a conversation with them.”