Schools Training

What Do You Learn in Personal Support Worker (PSW) Courses?

19 DEC 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

Personal Support Worker (PSW) courses cover a broad range of topics preparing you for careers in numerous healthcare environments, from a private home to an institution, or even in a laboratory as part of research. You’ll learn to help people with dignity, aiding them with day to day functioning, medical procedures and end of life issues. Employment is reliable, especially with an aging population but Personal Support workers aren’t just needed for the elderly, but also as caretakers for people with intellectual disabilities, as an aid to people with short and long term physical impairments within and outside a rehabilitative setting and in palliative care environments.


Healthcare training, regardless of whether a full medical doctorate or the most basic program of Personal Support Worker (PSW) courses, will include a section introducing students to human anatomy and the function of body systems, as well as an outline of medical problems and healing needs. Students will need to understand humans at all stages of the life cycle, from birth to end of life situations, and will be given an introduction to treatment methods, including the latest discoveries in medicine. They will also need to develop a good bedside manner, particularly important to a personal support worker, who will do all their work directly with patients and clients, and how to handle assisting people while allowing them to maintain as much independence as is medically safe. Students will come to understand how to facilitate the emotional as well as physical health of patients.


Good programs include some hands on practice, both inside the classroom, handling equipment and running through simulations of all the essential tasks that personal support workers perform for patients. This will be supplemented by a practicum, placing the future graduate in a supervised but real environment, where they will gain work experience, prove their knowledge and also learn things outside the curriculum of standard Personal Support Worker (PSW) courses, including a first taste of just how essential their work and care is to the community.


After a period of study that can last from less than a year, as in intensive programs, to two years, the student is almost finished their healthcare training, but must complete final examination. This will allow them to become certified in their profession and usually is complimentary to mandatory first aid training and certification. Personal Support Workers will then have one more step before they can begin work, a criminal background check. As many personal support workers are employed with vulnerable individuals or in private homecare situations, proof of impeccable character is an unavoidable safety precaution. Some graduates who go on to hospital or clinical settings may also get additional inoculations as they may be exposed to infections or put patients at risk, but this is up to individual employers. And, once all this is covered the graduate can be comfortable they’re ready to handle any situation in their first job.



Visit Academy of Learning College Toronto for information on a healthcare school in Toronto.