Looking for a fulfilling profession? Enjoy helping people? Then a career as a personal support worker may be right for you. Personal Support Worker Courses (PSW courses) prepare students to provide personal care to the elderly so that they can benefit from a life of physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Workers interact with clients on a daily basis, providing comfort and safety, as well as emotional support.

According to Workopolis and Service Canada, “Personal Support Worker” is already one of the most in-demand health worker positions in the country-and the demand is intended to increase as the Canadian population ages. The PSW diploma training program was developed by the provincial government in order to meet the needs of individuals needling long-term care in public or private facilities.

Numerous community and career colleges in North America offer comprehensive programs in PSW study. Students in these courses will often be given courses which combine Health Care Aide Training, Home Support Worker training (levels I, II and III), Attendant Care Training, and Response Worker Training into one program. These schools or programs mix classroom learning and practical “hands-on” training, providing students with the knowledge and confidence needed to enter the workplace upon graduation. The net result is qualified, competent graduates, ready to start carers in a variety of settings, including nursing homes, hospitals, private homes, non-profit organizations, agencies, and even self-employment.

Personal Support Workers can expect to participate in a wide variety of activities, including the servicing of meals, accompanying patients on outside activities, taking patient's vital health care, such as pulse and temperature, transporting patients using wheelchairs, managing medical supplies, and operating and cleaning equipment .

PSW courses will often cover the following topics:

  • Knowing the needs of your patient
  • Roles and responsibilities of a Personal Support Worker
  • Development of interpersonal skills
  • General safety standards
  • Assisting a person with mobility
  • Knowing what constituents abuse
  • Managing a household and preparing meals
  • The requirements of optimal support
  • Care planning
  • Assist clients with personal hygiene
  • Assisting a client's family / coping mechanisms
  • Cognitive impairment and mental health issues
  • Helping a client manage their condition
  • Medication assistance and education
  • Assisting a client who is terminally ill
  • Practicalities of daily living, and the use of specific support devices
  • Diagnostic and treatment procedures
  • Job placement and search assistance
  • Arranged nursing home placement and community placement
  • National certification
  • CPR and first aid

If you enjoy helping people and enriching their lives and giving them happiness by prolonging their independence, a career as a Personal Support Worker may be a good choice for you.