Schools Training

Learning To Care: Becoming A Personal Support Worker

10 JUL 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

We’ve all heard the expression “the circle of life.” When we’re young, we depend on our elders to take care of us, protect us, feed us and educate us. As we become adults, we learn responsibility and independence. When we reach the golden years, that is when life comes full circle, and once again we require assistance in living, often from the younger generations. Those people who take care of us when we can no longer live independently and on our won, are known as Personal Support Workers.

Personal support workers (PSW) not only look after the elderly, but also provide much needed care and services to a wide range of people who cannot look after themselves. Disabled persons, chronically-ill people or seriously injured individuals are just some of the other cases where PSW services are employed. Being a PSW is a rewarding career, not only because of the education and skills required for the job, but also because of the positive differences PSWs make in the lives of their patients. People who have lived long lives, or who have been through traumatic experiences, or who have learned to live with difficult disadvantages and obstacles not only benefit greatly from a PSW, but can repay the caregiver with gratitude and eye-opening new perspectives on life.

Becoming a PSW takes a lot of dedication and a good deal of knowledge. One has to have a decent familiarity with biology, psychology and technical training to perform the many tasks required. Good training for PSWs often begins in specialized institutions offering psw courses that help one prepare for such a career. Classes cover topics such as:

  • Development of Interpersonal Skills
  • Safety Standards
  • Assisting a Person with Mobility
  • Household Management and Meal Preparation
  • Personal Hygiene Assistance
  • Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health Issues
  • Assisting the Client Who is Dying
  • Diagnostic and Treatment Procedures
  • CPR / First Aid (included)

Schools should combine theoretical classroom learning with practical hands-on training before sending the aspiring PSW into the real world. Once equipped with a good education, a PSW can look for work either in a hospital, a nursing home or other long-term care facility, or in private residences. In order to ease your way from the class to the job, make sure your personal support worker course has a job-placement program.

A personal support worker is simultaneously acting as a nurse, waiter, porter, maid and manager. But their role is far more important than all those jobs combined. They are, by their very nature, primarily caregivers. It is this aspect of the career sets it above a regular job in the service industry, because what they are servicing is the well-being and happiness of people.

Visit The National Academy of Health And Business for more information on medical office assistant training programs.