Schools Training

Personal Support Workers – Getting your Career Started

10 FEB 2014
Career Path : Community Work

There are many career opportunities available for personal support workers. Knowing what to focus on during your training begins with knowing what type of personal support work you are interested in. You will find many career options once you begin your job search, so narrowing down what you are good at and interested in will be a plus. Additional training that will make you more marketable in the field is always recommended.

What is a Personal Support Worker? 

A personal support worker assists those who need daily medical care. In your career, you will find a wide range of responsibilities depending on your placement. Basically, you will be assisting with day-to-day tasks your patient is unable to do in their home or at a facility. This can include assisting with meals, personal upkeep, attending to errands and home management. On the more medical side, you will be expected to monitor the patient and record things such as blood pressure and temperature. Depending on the size of your employer and your work environment, you also may be the middleman between your patients and the hospital or organization monitoring their care.

Careers for Personal Support Workers 

There are many types of careers within the personal support worker (PSW) field. There are many long term care facilities that need personal support workers to provide all of the standard care of assisted living. You may also be placed in a patient’s home to provide services from there. Usually, you would be employed by a hospital or agency to provide this home based care. Deciding the right environment for you is an important first step.

What to Focus on in Your Training

While receiving training, make sure you are enrolled in the right PSW courses for your goals. In general, training programs focus on medical knowledge, your role in patient management and hands on training. The goal is for you to be ready on day one of your new job to provide the best care possible to patients.

During your training, really focus on what appeals to you. If you would like to be placed in a facility, then courses that prepare you for a hospital or facility administration environment will be helpful. If you are more interested in home health care, then patient management will be the most important. You might find you are the primary advocate for your patient, so a skill set in recognizing issues early on and reporting them will make you a much stronger personal support worker.

Additional Training that Will Open Doors

Along with all of the necessary PSW courses, it never hurts to take any accounting courses that might be available during your training. This will open up additional options for employment. You will be more qualified for smaller work environments and businesses. These days, financial training is a great addition for any career as every industry deals with accounting. Having a balanced education will make you more marketable in the personal support worker field.

Knowing early on what to expect as a personal support worker will strengthen your training and career options.

Visit the National Academy of Health and Business for more information on PSW courses.