Schools Training

Careers in Healthcare: Become a Personal Support Worker or a Medical Office Assistant

30 MAY 2012
Career Path : Healthcare


If you have been thinking about starting a career in healthcare, now is the time to start moving. With the rise of an aging population, the healthcare industry can expect to see an increase in the demand for patient care services. What this means for the healthcare industry as a whole is that it will most definitely need to expand its employee base in order to be able to properly meet the needs of the public.


Of course, working in healthcare does not necessarily mean you have to become a nurse or a doctor. In fact, the healthcare industry survives on the diligent work of many behind-the-scenes employees. Here are just two examples of essential roles and extremely rewarding career options for any aspiring healthcare worker:


Personal support worker


A PSW plays a crucial part in ensuring that a patient receives proper care. Because PSWs are in constant contact with patients, interpersonal skills are among the fundamental qualities that they must master. This goes much beyond being a “people-person” insofar as PSWs need to be able to maintain a friendly and professional manner with even the most agitated patient. People being treated for an illness, be it life threatening or not, are often not their best selves. Needless to say, it is important for PSWs to be able to offer each patient a level of empathy, one that will communicate to the patient that their pain and frustration is recognized and attended to.


Further, while PSWs are not permitted to treat or diagnose patients, they are relied on to recognize patterns of behaviour that may indicate that a patient’s condition has changed, however slightly.


Typically, students aspiring for a PSW career will study personal support worker courses that cover the following topics:


  • Assisting a Person with Mobility
  • Abuse Recognition and Required Action
  • Household Management and Meal Preparation
  • Personal Hygiene Assistance
  • Assisting the Family/Coping Mechanisms
  • Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues
  • Assisting the Client in Managing their Ongoing Condition
  • Medication Assistance/Administering and Educating
  • Assisting the Client Who is Dying
  • Diagnostic and Treatment Procedures
  • Arranged Nursing Home Placement and a Community Placement
  • National Certification
  • CPR / First Aid (included)


Medical Office Assistant


With no exaggeration, a medical office assistant is like the calm in a storm. What you can imagine such a position to entail comes down to making sure that the team of nurses, doctors, PSWs, housekeeping, and everyone else that you work with is organized and up to date with the daily happenings. This may sound like a piece of cake, but if you’ve ever spent a day working in a hospital, you will know that it is extremely difficult to ensure that everything is in order.


Which is why medical office assistants are so important. They take of everything, from keeping track of appointment calendars to submitting medical records, a MOA is relied on to keep things in order so that the team can be as efficient and accurate in their work as possible. 


Medical office assistant programs will most often include courses that train students on the following topics:


·         Study of Basic Human Anatomy and Medical Terminology

·         Pharmacology

·         Computer Health Applications

·         Systems and Data Management

·         Advanced Documentation

·         Medical Insurance

·         Appointment Book Management

·         Medical Procedures/Doctors and The Law/Clinical Procedures


Now that you’ve had a look at two of many promising career paths within the healthcare industry, making the decision to jump start your career may not be so difficult. 


Visit The National Academy of Health & Business for more information on healthcare training.