Choosing a job or career path can be an overwhelming process. There are so many different things to choose from. One of the most common responses to being asked the question, “What would you like to do for work?” is “I want to help people”.
Personal support workers have to be sort of a jack-of-all-trades – cooking, cleaning, and caring for their clients, while supporting families, doctors and nurses. The work requires patience understanding, but is highly rewarding. Support workers are a cornerstone of home care, and a key to keeping patients and their families happy and healthy.
Here is what you need to know about the role of a personal support worker:
Who uses personal support workers?
Personal support workers offer a service that can be used by many people. Typically, these individuals work for elderly clients who can no longer take care of themselves.
However, they can also work for people who are very sick or who have mental and/or physical conditions that make it difficult for them to do things on their own.
What tasks does a personal support worker take care of?
The role of a personal support worker depends on whether they are employed in a private care facility, or if they are working individually with a private client.
However typically the tasks required include light cleaning duties, meal preparation and planning, grooming and hygiene for the client, and simply spending time with the person to ensure they do not feel lonely or abandoned.
Personal support workers may also be in charge of ensuring the client takes their medication on schedule, and that any bandages, dressings, or medical tools and equipment are changed or cleaned as nec?essary.
Who is a personal support worker
There are not any specific post-secondary program that individuals need to take to become a personal support worker, but usually a high school diploma is required. They may be required to have their first aid certification, and some places require home care certificates or equivalent.
Other than that, the person should have a keen interest in helping people, have adept emotional intelligence, strong problem-solving abilities, and be patient and kind to all people. Some companies hiring personal support workers may have certain requirements including volunteering hours or related experience, but these are often not mandatory.
What must a personal support worker know?
There are certain things a person should know how to do if they plan on pursuing this line of work. The ability to accomplish basic personal care tasks for someone else is a must. This means being able to help them shower, brush their teeth and hair, get dressed, and use the bathroom.
Personal support workers must also have a basic understanding of wound care and how to change dressings and handle medical implements and waste. In addition, they must be aware of how to treat individuals who have reduced cognitive functions, or severe mental health issues. These skills can be taught in a PSW course online.
Why are personal support workers important?
One of the most common issues for families consisting of one or more individuals that require full-time care is that the able-bodied family members can experience caregiver fatigue. This happens because caregivers often are responsible for maintaining full-time jobs, while also caring for the house, possibly supporting children, and also providing full-time care for their loved ones who need help.
What many people don’t realize is that even if they are happy to do it, that loved one needs some time to take care of his or herself as well. This is where personal support workers come in. They are able to come in for a few hours on a consistent basis, or on an ad hoc basis to offer support and provide caregiver relief.
Personal support workers also allow people who are unable to care for themselves to maintain their hygiene, health, and dignity, even with reduced mobile functions.
How can someone prepare to be a personal support worker?
As mentioned, there are often no formal requirements needed to become a personal support worker, however those who have taken certificates in home care or personal support work will likely be given precedence when it comes to getting hired. Companies and individuals alike want to know that the personal support workers they are hiring know how to treat patients, and are going to offer the highest possible level of care.
Who relies on a personal support worker?
It is important to note that it is not just the clients who rely on these employees. In fact, in hospitals and care homes, it is these support workers who are doing the brunt of the front-line work. They are necessary and key individuals who not only help clients and their families, but also doctors and nurses in their day-to-day work to ensure that patients are being taken care of.