Considering a Career as a Personal Support Worker

Gaining your personal support worker certification will give you all the tools that you need to provide care for patients in long-term care homes, hospitals, group homes, retirement homes, and client’s home. You will be equipped with the tools that you need to provide care for those who need help and are unable to care for themselves.

If you love taking care of others, obtaining personal support worker certification is a great way to do a job that you love, while improving the quality of life for your elderly or disabled clients. Here’s what you need to know about this rewarding career:

1. Coursework
In your coursework, students will learn such things as the musculoskeletal system, how to transfer patients and you will also learn all about the way that the mechanics of the body. You will also learn about the techniques you will use to handle people patients who have cognitive and mental disabilities.

2. On the job experience
In addition to coursework, part of your certification will include on the job training, or an internship opportunity, which will help you get a hand on feeling for many of your responsibilities, including bedside care, general housekeeping, personal hygiene assistance, patient transport, patient exercise and recreation, and dispersion of medication, depending on the type of facility you desire to work in. You may choose to work as a PSW (in a senior’s residence or hospital), become a restorative aide (working with patients in recovery of all ages), or become a palliative care assistant (working with patients in the last phase of their lives).

3. Personal support worker duties
As a personal support worker you will have many different duties—including assisting with motion exercise, transport to appointments, assisting with bathing, feeding, and dressing, and administering medications. You will also assist with mobilization, menu planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and feeding. You will also maintain records and document various procedures as well as complete housekeeping tasks such as making beds, washing dishes or laundry. Getting further education will also give you the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills such as organization, research, discipline, and communication. If you are a people person, you will love a job supporting and meeting new people.

4. Job prerequisites
Senior caregiver programs will provide you with all the necessary skills needed to complete your duties, but you should also have good communication skills as well as important listening skills. You need to be able to work on your own and be able to handle the many demands and long days of caregiving physically. You should be able to work well on your own and be passionate as well as committed to the patients that you will be caring for.

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