Tasha Cull: Proud Mom and Personal Support Worker

By Annette Dawm, WorkStory Ambassador

Tasha Cull has been working as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) for nearly three years in the city of London, Ontario and the surrounding area. She travels every day to and from her clients’ homes to give them the help that they need in order to live as independently as possible. Tasha’s favourite part of the job is building the same type of relationship with her clients that friends would have: “I love taking the time to [get to] know my clients and build a sense of trust and [understanding] with them.”

Tasha was inspired to become a Personal Support Worker after she witnessed the care that a PSW provided to her great-grandmother when she was “going through her final stages of life.... She suffered from dementia and cancer....”

Tasha watched as the PSW’s care and compassion shone through, even when her great-grandmother “was at her worst”. Cull noticed that the Personal Support Worker always “remained composed”, which made a positive impression and  led Tasha onto this career path. “I knew I wanted to set out and be like her. I'll never be as good as she was, but I aim each day to be like her.”

Cull studied to become a Personal Support Worker at Westervelt College in London in 2011 and then graduated in 2012 with honours! She now has a family of her own with her husband, Allan. They became parents in 2014 to their son, Everick who is seen in Tasha’s photo. When asked if being a mom has influenced the way she works or if her job influenced her as a parent, she replied as follows.

“Oh yes! As a PSW, I learned a lot about caring for another person and I feel like being a mom has definitely changed how I treat others. It's most certainly helped me cope knowing I've done this before, just not with such a wee one. I've always cared about others in a compassionate and gentle way; but having a baby makes you so much more emotional to others’ feelings because a baby and most elders can't or won't tell you how they’re feeling. I can now relate to elders on a different level! It doesn't take a mind reader to know when someone's in pain but it's easy to hide it when someone is scared or unsure how you'll react when they tell you. Many elderly people will hide the pain because they don’t want to trouble you, or make you feel obligated to help. Being a mom, I've been more aware and able to see the signs more clearly when my little one is in pain or upset, because obviously a 3 month old can't tell you they can't poop or have an upset tummy.”

At the time this article was written, Cull was still on maternity leave, however, she said, “I can't wait to go back to work and share my stories and hear more about my clients’ memories of their little ones as well!”

Through working with others as a PSW, Tasha has learned that it is not always about the physical care she provides. She trusts that anyone who is looking to become a Personal Support Worker will also be emotionally supportive for their clients. It may seem obvious but being compassionate is a huge part of the job: 

“I hope they have patience and a lot of different experiences in life. You must have a strong heart and a sharp mind because you come across so many interesting people from all walks of life and you need to be kind to every one of them.... They all have their own story and a lot [of them are] heart breaking.” But all in all for Tasha Cull, “It's a very rewarding career!”