Personal Support Worker (PSW) – A Career Caring for Others!

May 21, 2019 | Healthcare

Is your middle name ‘caring’? If yes, personal support worker commonly known as PSW is a perfect choice of career for you. Apart from PSW, you might be designated as a personal aide, home support worker or personal care attendant.

What do Personal Support Workers (PSW) do?

Help and assist people in various situations. Such as elderly, expectant/nursing mothers, people with disability, injured. Support workers assist people in becoming independent and performing daily tasks. Some of the typical duties you might have to play will include:

  • Talking and spending time with clients thus, making them comfortable through a tough situation
  • Care for individuals during the period of illness or recovery. Also, provide support to the family
  • Bedside and personal care to the elderly. To help them get dressed and undressed, move, bathe etc.
  • Plan and prepare meals, you will be responsible for patients’ food intake as per the requirements
  • Teach new parents to care for an infant and walk them through challenges
  • Dressings and medicines as per instructions
  • Light housekeeping may also be involved
  • Follow emergency procedures if required

Considered an entry-level job in the healthcare profession:

Personal support workers are always in demand. Especially in Ontario, with initiatives such as Aging with Confidence, requirement for individual support workers is on the rise. Average personal support worker hourly pay in Toronto, Ontario is $16.45, however, with experience, you can make $21 per hour.

Working with the agencies can offer you a great deal of flexibility in choosing required shifts. The more experience you gain, the more opportunities you have. Most often, the role assigned depends on the training, and previous experience candidate has gone through. With enough experience and proper network, one can think of becoming an entrepreneur and run their own agency.

How to become a Support Worker in Ontario?

To become a Personal Support Worker (PSW) in Ontario, pursue a PSW course and obtain a diploma.

  • PSWs in Ontario must be trained to the standards approved by the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care and OCSA. Approved in May 1997, these standards are still in force.
  • All PSWs have the necessary training but depending on the skills and interests they might choose from varied options. Nursing homes, retirement homes, hospitals, private home care, palliative care or child care.
  • Requirements to qualify as PSW may vary according to provinces’ needs.

What Qualities most employers look for?

Compassion, honesty and trust are some of the essential qualities most employers look for. However, some other job requires to include:

  • Training and Knowledge – Human anatomy, different diseases such as Alzheimer, dementia, kidney failure, cancer, heart-related issues. Understanding of equipment and adaptive devices is plus on resume.
  • Well versed with medical terminology – you will manage daily medicine schedules and giving required drugs to the patients. It is vital to have basic training in medical terminology.
  • Communication skills – As a support worker you will be working in various settings, and thus, it is imperative to have excellent communication skills. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is essential. If you are an international candidate from the non-English speaking country, it is advisable to gain English/ French language proficiency.
  • Professional and motivating – a candidate should have the ability to build patient’s confidence, encourage them in time of difficulty. You will be their first-hand support in all challenging situations, thus it is essential that apart from physical wellness, you have the skills to help with mental and emotional pressure.
  • PSW’s work in a range of work environment, people from different backgrounds. Adaptability is the key to succeed and professionally handle situations. The role of PSWs depends on the policies of the organization or facility.
  • You are going to take charge of someone’s life and be responsible for their welfare. Being detail oriented is the most significant asset for a support worker. Time management and multi-tasking skills will come in handy.
  • Support workers have to work in shifts, sometimes on holidays and special days. Flexibility is an essential quality for a PSW.

Personal Support Worker Program

Being a personal support worker can be overwhelming at times, but it is rewarding. It is a noble profession which will help people through their difficult times. You can become a Personal Support Worker in Mississauga in less than 6 months and gain experience through clinical placement offered by BizTech College. For more details, click here.

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