Canada’s aging population has created a high demand for trained healthcare workers who can provide the support and general care that these individuals require. Personal support workers (PSWs), for instance, assist such patients in a variety of settings, including long-term care facilities, patient’s homes, and clinical settings, like hospitals.
Those who choose to pursue a personal support worker (PSW) career path are typically warm individuals who are skilled in caring for others. If this sounds like you, PSW training promises to open doors to a rewarding career path that’s currently in very high demand. In fact, several initiatives in Ontario have been aimed at increasing awareness of the need for qualified home care workers, which led to wages for PSWs in the province being increased.
This buzz even reached a national level, and members of parliament, including Justin Trudeau, recently accepted invites to walk a day in the shoes of Ontario PSWs. All this and more make now an exciting time to pursue a career in healthcare. And when you pursue PSW training, you’ll also gain the expertise required for several other roles. Read on for a closer look at the role of a PSW, and learn about other career paths that will be open to you after graduation.
When working with patients, PSWs follow a wide range of individual care plans. Most daily responsibilities include providing assistance with personal hygiene, mobility, meal preparation, and light cleaning. In this role, you’ll also be required to monitor patients to ensure that they take their medications on time, and that their immediate environment is safe.
A good PSW course teaches students about several restorative and activation exercises that they can use with bedridden patients. This will increase their range of mobility and improve circulation. The ultimate goal of working as a PSW is to give patients the support they need to live as independently as possible.
If you decide to become a palliative care assistant, you’ll work with patients who are in the last phase of their lives. You could find work in a number of settings, such as a palliative care facility, or privately in a patient’s home. This role will require you to deal with potentially upsetting situations, as patients will either be terminally ill or preparing to pass on from old age.
The skills you’ll develop in your personal support worker program will be useful in assisting these patients with daily living, but what’s perhaps most important is the companionship you’ll provide. Some patients receive very few visits from their family members—or none at all—while they are in palliative care, so a comforting presence can make all the difference in their quality of life.
Some personal support worker program graduates go on to become restorative aides after graduation. If you choose to pursue this path, you would be working with patients of various age groups and life stages who are recovering from major surgery, illness, or perhaps an accident. This occupation would have you working in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and other settings where you might help patients regain their normal level of functionality and ability through a combination of therapies.
What’s interesting about a career as a restorative aide is that aside from the daily assistance tasks that you’ll learn in PSW courses, you’ll also potentially learn about a variety of treatments on the job, which you’ll administer to patients. This can include practicing physiotherapy, speech therapy exercises, and more depending on the individual situation of each patient. This could be a great role for those who enjoy physical work, since patients who have decreased mobility may need to be lifted into beds or wheelchairs.
Are you interested in pursuing personal support worker training in Windsor?
Visit Canadian College to learn more about getting started!