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Why You Might Want to Encourage Clients to Use Technology Once You Become a PSW

2018-07-25 by NAHB

PSW training

There are so many important ways that seniors can benefit from technology in 2018. From expanding their social network to keeping track of appointments, there are many benefits that technology can offer. There are even a number of cognitive and, yes, physical benefits that come with seniors exploring and using technology. Technology can also help seniors become more independent, instilling them with greater confidence and higher self-esteem when they succeed in using new technology and devices.

PSWs new and old can encourage the use of technology when caring for their clients. Read on to learn why and how!

Smartphones Can Help Clients Better Maintain Their Medication Schedule

Smartphones are such useful little gizmos. While there’s a lot that can be done with them, one handy feature is the scheduling apps and automatic reminders that these little devices can provide. This can be useful for remembering events, appointments, and family visits. In addition, it can also help clients keep track of their medication schedule so that they always remember to take prescription medications at designated times.

While caring for clients, PSWs can help seniors better understand the features of their smartphone, as well as how to use the calendar or scheduling app to set reminders that, with an alarm, notify them when they need to take a certain medication. Many calendar apps also allow the user to input a written message, which clients can use to mark their dosage, should they forget.

Smartphones can be a very convenient tool for seniors!

Smartphones can be a very convenient tool for seniors!

There are also apps specifically designed not only to remind seniors whenever they need to take their medication, but when they need a refill, as well as alerts for missed doses and instructions on what they need to do should they forget to take a pill. Grads with PSW training can help clients learn to use these apps to check and track their dosage history. This means fewer problems with maintaining a pill schedule, and an added helpful tool for seniors who want to maintain their independence.

Grads with PSW Training Can Help Clients Connect With Others Over the Internet

There’s no question that the internet has helped people of all ages expand their social network. What makes mastering the internet so important to seniors is how it can help them keep in touch with their loved ones. For seniors whose loved ones are overseas or living in another city, Skype, social media, and email can help them stay connected even when regular visits may be harder to organize.

Graduates of a personal support worker course also understand how being able to talk with family and friends online can make all the difference for seniors who feel isolated from time to time. With the help of their PSW, clients will be able to see their friends and family as they chat, giving them a deeper sense of connectivity and fulfillment.

Bring on the Fun with Some Video Games for Cognitive Growth!

Video games and seniors may sound like an oxymoron, but the mental and even physical health benefits for clients can be significant. For example, seniors can play fitness games on a variety of different consoles, like the Wii and X-Box 360, to get some exercise. There are many games that can simulate sports like tennis, bowling, and even obstacle courses, helping clients stay in shape while also giving a boost to their coordination.

Video games are another great way to get seniors to socialize!

Video games are another great way to get seniors to socialize!

Clients can also play console or handheld video games, like Brain Age, to help them enhance their cognitive skills. Puzzles, crosswords, and Sudoku apps can also be downloaded onto smartphones, which can be used to have fun and improve memory while on the go.

Are you ready to start a fun and rewarding career in healthcare?

Become a PSW with training from the National Academy of Health and Business!

Using Your Personal Support Worker Training to Keep Seniors Safe During Flu Season

2018-03-21 by NAHB

No one wants to get the flu. This unpleasant illness comes once a year around mid-fall and hangs in the air until about mid-spring. The current flu season is not quite done yet, which means the nasty bug can still be caught. As such, various precautions should still be followed in order to avoid getting the flu. This is especially important for seniors.

Human defenses weaken with age, so seniors are an at-risk group for getting the flu. If infected, they produce less antibodies or fighting agents. Because of this, seniors can have a harder time fighting off the virus, and are more likely to develop serious health complications like pneumonia. That’s why it’s paramount to do your best as a personal support worker to keep your clients safe during flu season. To find out how to do it, keep reading.

Get Your Flu Shot to Protect Your Clients From Harm

One of the best ways that seniors can prepare for flu season is to get their flu shot. However, it’s also important for professionals who work closely with seniors to get their flu shot as well. That includes PSWs, who can help to protect their clients by ensuring that they don’t become sick and spread the virus.

Since the flu virus changes a bit each year, so does the flu shot, which is why it should be taken annually. Optimally, everyone should get their flu shot by the end of October, but it’s possible to get it anytime before the flu season ends, even in spring. Remember, though, that it takes about two weeks for the immunity created by the flu shot to set in, so the sooner the better.

Use Your Personal Support Worker Training to Help Your Clients Maintain Good Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene and good health habits are important to preventing the spread of the flu virus. For professionals with personal support worker training this includes washing hands regularly with antibacterial soap and warm water. Just a little rinse isn’t enough, though. Hands should always be scrubbed for at least 15-20 seconds to ensure all germs are eliminated.

Germs can collect on the hands from surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, and countertops, so it’s also important to ensure all these are frequently cleaned as well. This will minimize the chances of germs surviving on these surfaces and spreading to others.

You can also instruct your clients to avoid touching their mouth, nose, and eyes. Touching any of these areas can spread germs to the respiratory system, where they can more easily attack the body.

Hydration, Nutrition, and Rest All Help Maintain a Healthy Immune System

Making sure your clients are properly looking after their immune systems by staying well hydrated, rested, and more is essential for protecting them from the flu.

Staying on top of hydration is especially important. Seniors can have a reduced sensation of thirst, which may lead to them forgetting to consume their recommended daily fluid intake. When working with clients after your PSW course, be sure to check that they are drinking enough water or other decaffeinated fluids. They can also get fluids from foods that have a high water content, such as fresh fruit. These are also a great source of nutrients as well!

In addition to staying hydrated, a proper diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help clients stay healthy and better able to ward off the flu. Vitamin C and other antioxidants can be especially beneficial. These can be found in many different foods, including leafy greens and several different types of fruit. Blueberries and raspberries, for example, are excellent sources of both. Of course, getting quality sleep, avoiding overexertion, and resting when tired will also help you clients stay protected against the flu.

Make sure your clients get plenty of fluids and nutrients

Are you looking to enroll in a personal support worker course?

Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn about our PSW program!

FINDING WORK AS A PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKER

2017-07-12 by NAHB

Best Colleges in Ontario

Once you have completed your personal support worker training and find it’s time to go out and get a job that can put what you learned in psw courses to good use, you’ll need a solid game plan. Here are some suggestions to get you started on this rewarding career path:

Researching Potential Employers

The first thing you should do is determine whether you are primarily looking for work in a healthcare institution such as a hospital or a long-term care facility or would rather work in private residences, either through a placement agency or by getting hired directly by clients. It’s a good idea to focus on the type of work you want but keep all options open in your search.

Resources for personal support worker course graduates looking for work include:

  • PersonalSupportWorkerHQ.com: This site provides, among other resources, a listing of hospitals in Ontario hiring PSWs.
  • Job Search Websites: It’s a good idea to check out sites like indeed.ca and jobboom.com for postings and when searching for individual clients. Classifieds sites like Kijiji should also not be ignored.

Preparing for the Interview

When you’ve landed an interview, it’s important that you go into it prepared. Some good tips for prospective personal support workers to remember are:

  • Research your potential employer
  • Be able to list and know your relevant skills
  • Be able to explain how your education has prepared you for this work
  • Do a mock interview
  • Dress professionally and leave early

Possible Interview Questions

Interviewing for a position as a PSW is generally a very in-depth process, which makes sense considering the highly personal nature of the work. Potential employers want to be sure that they’re hiring the right person for the job. Here are some questions you may hear at a PSW job interview:

  • If a resident/your patient falls, what will you do? In the case of an institution, it is best to familiarize yourself with their safety protocols. One possible good responses could be “stay with the patient and call for help, then help transfer them to a bed or chair safely.”
  • How do you care for a palliative patient? Your response should mention that you would care for them with the upmost dignity and respect, in accordance with their religious practises, treating them with warmth and empathy while respecting their privacy.
  • What are a resident’s rights? There are over 25 rights people who live in Ontario long-term care facilities have legally. These include the right to be protected from abuse and neglect, have a safe and clean home and be cared for in a manner consistent with their beliefs. It is important to know all the rights before going to a job interview in a long-term care facility.

Where would you prefer to work as a PSW, and what steps will you take to get there?

Finding Work as a Personal Support Worker

2017-06-22 by NAHB

Personal-Support-Worker-TrainingOnce you have completed your personal support worker training and find it’s time to go out and get a job that can put what you learned in psw courses to good use, you’ll need a solid game plan. Here are some suggestions to get you started on this rewarding career path:

Researching Potential Employers

The first thing you should do is determine whether you are primarily looking for work in a healthcare institution such as a hospital or a long-term care facility or would rather work in private residences, either through a placement agency or by getting hired directly by clients. It’s a good idea to focus on the type of work you want but keep all options open in your search.

Resources for personal support worker course graduates looking for work include:

  • PersonalSupportWorkerHQ.com: This site provides, among other resources, a listing of hospitals in Ontario hiring PSWs.
  • Job Search Websites: It’s a good idea to check out sites like indeed.ca and jobboom.com for postings and when searching for individual clients. Classifieds sites like Kijiji should also not be ignored.

Preparing for the Interview

When you’ve landed an interview, it’s important that you go into it prepared. Some good tips for prospective personal support workers to remember are:

  • Research your potential employer
  • Be able to list and know your relevant skills
  • Be able to explain how your education has prepared you for this work
  • Do a mock interview
  • Dress professionally and leave early

Possible Interview Questions

Interviewing for a position as a PSW is generally a very in-depth process, which makes sense considering the highly personal nature of the work. Potential employers want to be sure that they’re hiring the right person for the job. Here are some questions you may hear at a PSW job interview:

  • If a resident/your patient falls, what will you do? In the case of an institution, it is best to familiarize yourself with their safety protocols. One possible good responses could be “stay with the patient and call for help, then help transfer them to a bed or chair safely.”
  • How do you care for a palliative patient? Your response should mention that you would care for them with the upmost dignity and respect, in accordance with their religious practises, treating them with warmth and empathy while respecting their privacy.
  • What are a resident’s rights? There are over 25 rights people who live in Ontario long-term care facilities have legally. These include the right to be protected from abuse and neglect, have a safe and clean home and be cared for in a manner consistent with their beliefs. It is important to know all the rights before going to a job interview in a long-term care facility.

Where would you prefer to work as a PSW, and what steps will you take to get there?

PSWs within Ontario: A SMART CAREER CHOICE

2016-05-25 by NAHB

PSW training

“We know that Ontarians would prefer to receive care in their own homes and communities and Personal Support Workers play a critical role in making this possible. Our government is committed to working closely with our partners to better support PSWs, including improvements to their wages in recognition of the important role they play in our health care system.”

– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

According to the Government of Ontario, a Personal Support Worker (otherwise known as a PSW) is an individual who assists those with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Often associated with the elderly, a PSW may also work with children and other vulnerable members of society.  Under the direction of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), a PSW helps to aid in the care and needs for their client as stated in their client/resident’s care plan.  Duties often include dressing, bathing, toileting, transferring, emotional/physical/mental support, companionship etc.  Personal Support Workers are front line workers and are often the first professionals to notice changes in a client’s well being.  Personal Support Workers are a VITAL and IMPORTANT part of the booming healthcare industry found within Ontario and all of Canada.

National Academy of Health & Business, established in 1979 has been providing the necessary career training for students looking to work within the Ontario healthcare sector and specifically, the PSW sector. Our school continuously strives to ensure all graduates from the Personal Support Worker certificate program are equipped with the most advanced skills in order to excel within this booming workforce in Ontario.

There are approximately 100,000 Personal Support Workers employed across Ontario’s booming healthcare industry and these numbers continue to grow. Due to the increasing numbers of the elderly population in Ontario, approximately 34,000 Personal Support Workers are employed within the home and community care sector. With the elderly population on the rise, the government of Ontario has been consistently taking necessary steps to help attract and retain the best Personal Support Workers in the industry. With the help of our government combined with the high standard of training offered within a National Academy program, NAHB Personal Support Worker students are often hired immediately upon graduation. In addition, the Government of Ontario continues to implement the PSW Workforce Stabilization Strategy including initiatives such as:

  • Developing options to enhance full-time and permanent employment
  • Helping new graduates transition successfully into jobs within the home and community care industry through on-the-job orientation
  • And strengthening profession leadership in the sector

These initiatives have been directly influencing the successful placement and hiring of National Academy students. To find out more about the Personal Support Worker Certificate Program and discovering if this is the right career path for you, contact National Academy of Health & Business today. Since 1979, we have been offering a life of success in one year or less.

A PSW’s Guide to First Aid

2015-01-14 by NAHB

first aidIf you plan to pursue personal support worker training, you may one day find yourself working in a nursing home, hospital, or private residence. Here, you will be responsible for caring for the elderly. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the people you’ll eventually be helping will likely face a range of chronic health conditions. Though PSWs do not follow a set list of duties, one common skill that they are all required to master is the ability to react effectively and efficiently in emergency situations. Read on to find how a personal support worker uses first aid to react in an emergency while on the job.

Treating Someone Who is Choking

Anyone who has taken a personal support worker course knows how to properly react in a situation where a person is choking. The first thing these professionals do is give the choking individual five blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of their hand. If the choking persists, the PSW moves on to abdominal thrusts. In order to perform these effectively, they:

  • Stand behind the person and wrap their arms around the waist
  • Place a clenched fist directly above the person’s navel, grabbing the fist with the other hand
  • Quickly pull inward and upward

The PSW will alternate between cycles of five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until the object that the person is choking on is coughed up or dislodged and they begin to breathe regularly. It’s important to note that if the individual is pregnant, the personal support worker will perform the abdominal thrusts by placing his or her hand just above the stomach at the base of the breastbone to ensure that the baby will not be harmed.

Identifying the Signs of Stroke

As people age, the risk of stroke increases – this means that personal support workers (who work with the elderly) definitely need to understand how to identify the symptoms of stroke, as well as know the protocol for providing help. Students enrolled in PSW courses know that it is important to contact emergency services immediately if they notice a patient is experiencing the telltale signs of stroke, these include:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs (especially if the numbness occurs on only one side of the body)
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble seeing
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness or balance problems
  • Sudden confusion
  • Severe headache

A PSW will be expected to record the time when the symptoms first appeared. There are several different types of strokes, and some can be treated with a medication that reduces the long-term effects. If this medication is available, it will be administered to the patient within the first four hours of noticing the symptoms. If the individual is diabetic, blood sugar level should be measured – low blood sugar can be treated with a glucose tablet, or even a glass of a sugary beverage, like orange juice.

Have you ever delivered first aid during a medical emergency? What tips can you offer for remaining cool and calm?

Understanding Disabilities as a PSW

2014-12-24 by NAHB

Elderly Patient and Nurse

Students taking personal support worker training today will likely go on to serve Canada’s growing elderly population, assisting in their everyday tasks and day-to-day needs. An important aspect of PSW courses is learning to help patients manage their disabilities – both physical and mental – that are commonly associated with old age. While some students may have some experience helping family members cope with ailments, many age-related disabilities are quite complicated. PSWs need knowledge and training to do their job well. Read on to learn more about some of the most common disabilities and conditions associated with older patients.

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that progresses over time, gradually causing the loss of bodily functions. Alzheimer patients usually begin by suffering memory loss, furthered by mood swings, speech problems and disorientation. Alzheimer’s has three stages: mild, moderate and severe. In the severe stage, patients will usually require assistance with eating, dressing and general mobility.

Arthritis

Patients with arthritis often find waking up in the morning most difficult, due to overnight joint stiffness. Since arthritis patients are mostly affected at their joints, it is important they keep active, but not strain themselves. Being overweight can make arthritis worse, which is why personal support worker courses train students how to prepare and cook healthy meals for patients. Exercise may also be necessary, as will some minor assistance carrying heavy or awkward items.

Senior with painful arm

Osteoporosis

Characterized by a high risk of fracture, osteoporosis is a disease that causes deterioration of the bone tissue and bone mass. Lifestyle habits can greatly improve an osteoporosis patient’s life, since bones grow stronger with activity. A personal support worker may help clients perform some light exercises – those involving lifting weights are best for exercising the bone. Other exercises may include dancing, walking, stairs or small weight lifting.

Parkinson’s

Like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease. The disease is characterised by tremors due to a lack of dopamine and a subsequent loss of muscle control. Parkinson’s patients may have difficulty walking, moving, and the disease can cause constipation and issues swallowing. Personal support workers assigned to a Parkinson’s patient are responsible for monitoring changes in the patient’s disease, such as dizziness or confusion, which may put them at risk for falling.

Stroke

A stroke is a complicated condition with a wide variety of health consequences. Someone is more at risk for stroke if they are overweight, elderly or lack physical activity. A stroke can be extremely debilitating, causing paralysis in half the body, slowed body movements, vision problems and short term memory loss. After having one stroke, a patient has a higher risk of suffering another. A personal support worker may help a patient with speech exercises, playing memory games, puzzles or crosswords. Range of motion exercises can also be beneficial for stroke sufferers to promote flexibility and reduce stiffness in their muscles.

Have you had experience working with a patient with one of these conditions? What were the main challenges?

 

Quick Guide to a Career in Sports Physiotherapy

2014-12-10 by NAHB

Patient at the physiotherapy doing physical therapy

Sports have always provided audiences with entertaining spectacle, and the invention of mass media and high-profile sponsorship has made athletes into global super stars.

The increasingly competitive nature of sports today means that athletes are pushing themselves harder than ever before. As a testament to this, there were two dozen sports world records broken in just 2014 alone! Sport and exercise medicine (SEM) doctors ensure that competitors can perform at their best, and also treat athletes who have suffered injuries while aiming for a new title or big win. Because sports injuries require closely monitored rehabilitation, sports medicine clinics have resident physiotherapists and aides who have completed physiotherapist assistant training.

Sports Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists have an extensive understanding of human movement (kinesiology) and the bodily impact of injury. In sports physiotherapy, there are usually several steps that are taken to rehabilitate the patient so that they can return to physical activity. These steps include acute care, which involves directly treating the injury, and rehabilitation, which is managing the injury so that the athlete can continue to perform. A major step after the rehabilitation process is to educate the athlete in the management of their injury and how future injuries can prevented. Some of the most common sports injuries include:

  • Ankle sprain (common with runners)
  • Shin splints (common with runners)
  • Groin pull (common with soccer players)
  • Hamstring pull
  • Tennis elbow
  • ACL tear (knee injury)

Physiotherapy Treatments

When the injury doesn’t have swelling, a physiotherapist may apply a hot pack to relieve muscle or joint stiffness. Acupuncture may be used as a treatment for injuries accompanied by severe pain. With the aid of a physiotherapist assistant, a physiotherapist uses needles which stimulate the brain and spinal cord depending on where they’re placed, releasing natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins.

A sports physiotherapist will often also assign range of motion (ROM) exercises for the patient to complete with the help of a physiotherapist assistant. Range of motion exercises are taught in a wide range of healthcare courses, such as personal support worker training, as it is a simple but effective way to keep aggravated muscles from seizing and preserve the flexibility of joints. Active ROM exercises can be performed by the patient themselves, whereas Passive ROM exercises are prescribed in cases where a patient cannot move the joints themselves due to extreme injury or paralysis. Graduates of personal support worker courses will often be skilled in Passive ROM exercises for elderly patients who have lost much of their mobility.

Another primary component of sports physiotherapy is massage, also called soft-tissue mobilization. Massage may be used by a physiotherapist to treat sore muscles, muscle spasms, decrease swelling and reduce pain. By increasing the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue, toxins are released, aiding the recovery process.

Typical Duties of a Physiotherapist Assistant

2014-08-27 by NAHB

Instructor And Elderly Patient Undergoing Water Therapy

A physiotherapist assistant will always work under the supervision of a certified physiotherapist to aid them in their duties. To become a physiotherapist assistant, first you will need certification from a physiotherapist assistant program where you will learn about anatomy and physiology, healthcare delivery, rehabilitation strategies and much more. In this field, it is crucial that you have a passion for exercise and activity, as well as an overall positive attitude. Physiotherapy is a gradual process and patients may often get frustrated when they cannot complete an exercise. Because of the rehabilitation nature of the job, patience is a crucial attribute to those who choose this profession.

Types of Patients

As a physiotherapist, there are a variety of possible locations for your employment. Your job may have you performing house calls, or you may work in a physiotherapy clinic or hospital.

The people you work with vary as well. Many patients are elderly and need help regaining their strength and mobility, in which case you may work alongside someone who has graduated from a personal support worker course. Those who have suffered a stroke benefit tremendously from physiotherapy, as it helps regain control over muscles that have been paralyzed or disabled.

The great thing about being a physiotherapist assistant is that you find yourself working with people from all walks of life. Children may also need physiotherapy, due to developmental delays or sports injuries. In the case of a younger patient, you may find yourself working hand in hand with an early childhood assistant to aid in the child’s recovery.

Rehabilitation of broken leg

Typical Daily Duties

If you are curious about what a day as a physiotherapist assistant is like, here are some typical duties performed on the job.

  • Assist patient in performing the exercises which have been arranged by a physiotherapist
  • Motivate patients to perform their exercises
  • Help patients move from a sitting to a standing position
  • Help patients walk with a cane or walker
  • Perform massages
  • Record the muscle and strength performance of the patient
  • Inform the patients of their at-home treatment
  • Use ultrasound machines to treat injuries
  • Help patients use artificial limbs

Positive Motivation

A physiotherapist must have a passion for activity and a motivational personality – after all, the main part of your job is to encourage patients to make their recovery as swift as possible. Some patients’ situations will require time, especially in the cases of a stroke where a patient may start off immobile. A physiotherapist assistant has the duty of encouraging the patient to take small steps at a time, and radiate a positive energy which will aid in their recovery.

Top Skills for Becoming a Community Services Worker

2014-07-02 by NAHB

Home care

The role of a community services worker is to assist and support individuals and communities facing challenges related to areas like economic difficulties, mental health issues, substance abuse problems, physical disabilities or more. As a community services worker, you work on the frontlines of social assistance, meaning this is a career that can be demanding, but also tremendously satisfying on a personal level. If you’re currently investigating carers in healthcare and social work, such as contemplating taking a personal support worker course or becoming an early childhood assistant, you should consider a career as a community services worker. If you love to help people and fight for what’s right, it could be just what you’re looking for.

Top skills

A trained community services worker can find employment in a number of organisations, including government agencies, women’s shelters, mental health centers, correctional facilities, schools, group homes and more.

To be successful as a community services worker, you must be people-oriented and have strong empathy and compassion. Good organizational skills and being able to think quickly on your feet can also come in handy. Moreover, a positive attitude is a good trait to have, as some of your clients may have fallen into patterns of negative thinking.

During your formation as a community services worker, you’ll also acquire skills related to:

  • Psychology
  • Case management
  • Counseling Techniques
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Self-care
  • Conflict resolution
  • Family development
  • CPR/First Aid

All of these will help you provide quality support and services to individuals in need and making a difference in their lives and your community.

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of a community services worker can vary greatly depending on your employer or the type of clients you have, and might require you to also receive light medical office assistant training.

In general, a professional in this field can expect to:

  • Meet with clients to evaluate their situation, provide support or assess their progress
  • Write reports, including a client’s strengths, weaknesses and needs
  • Help clients gain access to the governmental services they need, such as legal, medical and financial assistance, employment services, help with housing and more
  • In collaboration with the client, develop and carry out plans of action
  • Implement various programs within a community, including substance abuse programs, youth services and workshops related to life skills and other topics
  • Provide crisis intervention and emergency shelter services

And, of course, much more. Your training as a community services worker will be flexible and will prepare you to be able to handle many different types of challenges and work environments, so that can you be effective both independently and as a member of a team of community services workers.

In the end, if you care about social justice, are passionate about supporting individuals in difficult situations, are self-motivated and a good decision marker, you’ll find plenty to like in community services.

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