Isma Besic has been a Personal Support Worker at Granite Ridge Care Community in Stittsville, Ontario, since 2002. She was recently recognized with a PSW Leadership Excellence Award from the OLTCA. She has an amazing ability to communicate with resident with dementia, stemming from both her incredible passion for these residents, and her continued drive to learn. She participates in any educational opportunity she can, including G.P.A., P.I.E.C.E.S., and several leadership workshops. She has also been a mentor to many new team members and students, who have always spoken highly of her professional, patient and respectful way of teaching.
She once mentored a new graduate through the community’s orientation program. The team member was just starting out as a PSW. When she identified some areas he required learning in, she advocated for additional orientation time because she felt he would be a great asset for the team. She was right – the team member stayed with the community for eight years, and was highly valued.
When the role of PSW BSO Champion was created in 2010, Isma was a natural first choice. She had a keen interest in the program and was excited to become involved. Her incredible leadership skills coupled with a positive attitude made her the right fit. In her time as PSW BSO Champion, she has transformed the PSWs’ role in documenting and communicating about behaviours, truly empowering them to be part of positive change, and ulimately, providing the best care and approaches for residents with dementia.
Isma emulates ‘the warmth of human connection’ in every interaction she has, with residents, families and her team. “I love my job and every day, I am aware of the impact it has on me and I have on it,” says Isma. Congratulations on your award, Isma!