Posted on May 30
What is a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and what does a PSW do?
Personal Support Workers (PSW's) are what are referred to as unregulated health care providers. This simply means that there is no governing body which sets standards for the skills and knowledge needed to practice. As a result, the skills, accreditation and supervision of PSWs can vary widely in Canada. This critical job description includes managing daily tasks for people who are suffering from illness, injury or dealing with the effects of aging.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) allows personal support workers to also use the following titles: Health Care Aide, Patient Care Aide, Resident Care Aide, Nursing Attendant or a Hospital Attendant. The titles vary depending upon the healthcare facility or home care the personal support worker is providing.
In Canada, where the population of people above 65 years has increased significantly and most family members work outside the home, it has become a significant challenge for family members to provide the full-time care that their elderly or ill family member needs. More and more families are now looking for personal support workers to provide home-based health care.
One of the many benefits of hiring Stonebridge Community Services and/or the Multi-Service Centre is that our personal support workers work under the direction of a registered nurse (RN). They receive ongoing training, guidance and are required to report back to and be monitored by the our organization.
Qualification and requirements of a personal support worker
Stonebridge and the Multi-Service Centre (MSC) require that all personal support workers (PSW's) in our agency achieve their Personal Support Worker Certificate from an accredited college in Ontario.
The PSW certificate course provides training on:
- How to assist with personal hygiene
- Caregiver relief
- How to deal with persons with cognitive impairment and mental health issues
- How to provide optimal support
- How to recognize ongoing medical conditions
- Household management
We hire personal support workers with great personal attributes such as:
- Able to communicate clearly
What are the major duties of a personal support worker at Stonebridge & the MSC?
- Caring for a person or a family during periods of illness or recovery
- Assisting the client with all activities of daily living including, toileting, bathing, dressing, mobility
- Preparing meals and feeding the client
- Performing housekeeping chores like cleaning and tidying the client’s room or house, changing beds and doing laundry
- Helping the client sort out their medication and ensure they take it as per the instructions
- Providing informal counselling when needed
- Going shopping
- Spending time with the client
- Leading clients in exercises to ensure they maintain their strength and working towards recovery
- Observing, recognizing and reporting changes in the client’s behaviours and condition back to the agency
If you are looking to hire a personal support worker privately it is important to ensure that they have the proper education and training as well as oversight and a system in place to monitor their work.