If you are someone who finds fulfillment in helping other people daily, like a community services worker, then perhaps personal support worker is a career path you would consider. Whereas a community services worker is more involved in the social wellbeing of citizens through work in women’s shelters and community centres, a personal support worker helps individuals with their long-term healthcare.
To get started in this career, you must obtain certification from a personal support worker college. As a support worker you may be placed in a retirement home, private home or clinical care setting in order to assist a medically stable patient with their domestic life. A personal support worker will perform everyday duties which include bedside care, movement aid, personal hygiene, bathing and dressing/undressing. Depending on the immobility level of the patient, personal support workers may plan and cook meals according to special diets, and administer feeding when necessary. Doing laundry, household chores and performing routine medical duties may all be responsibilities of the job as well.
There are certain traits which make a good personal support worker. Here are some of the most important:
Many of your patients will be either immobile or struggling with their mobility. Sometimes simple tasks can feel like climbing a mountain to them. Part of a personal support worker’s job is not just to perform these tasks for the patient, but encourage them to do their best as well. The ability to perform tasks themselves will allow patients to retain some independence and give them confidence!
Sometimes your patient will be nearing the end of their life and is perhaps in some discomfort or pain. It is important that a personal support worker can be kind and compassionate towards the patient and their family at these times. You may work in collaboration with professionals with physiotherapist assistant training from time to time to help patients progress in their convalescence.
While you are there to care for the patient, you will sometimes be in their home or personal space for several hours a day. You are therefore also there as a compatriot and professional friend. Knowing how to communicate with different types of people is a critical skill for personal support workers.
Overall, there is an increasing need for personal support workers in a country with an aging population. If you’d like the ability to choose your own schedule, help others and work in healthcare, then consider becoming a personal support worker!