2019-02-06 by NAHB
Pursuing a career as a personal support worker is an incredibly rewarding endeavour. As a PSW, you’ll be providing care to the people who need it most. However, as with many professions in healthcare, the rewards of this career also come with certain challenges.
If you pursue a career as a personal support worker, you may at some point interact with families as they cope with difficult news. This is especially common if your client passes away or if they have recently received a discouraging diagnosis. As a PSW, navigating this grief can present challenges, especially since different families grieve in different ways.
To help you thrive in your career, here are some points to keep in mind as a PSW.
Personal Support Workers Can Show Empathy While Acknowledging Limitations
Providing empathetic support to families of seriously ill clients can be a balancing act. This is because you’ll need to show families that you are sympathetic to what they are going through without crossing any boundaries.
It’s usually best to avoid phrases such as “I know how you feel”. Even if you have a loved one who is ill, you can’t know what another person is feeling, and often this well-intentioned statement can backfire. Instead, it is often best to simply admit that you can’t imagine what they are going through.
Furthermore, while it’s normal to feel saddened when a client passes or when their illness progresses, it is important to remain composed and professional when communicating with the family. If you don’t, they may become uncomfortable or start to feel like they are the ones who need to support you. If you find an instance particularly difficult to manage, it may be best to have a colleague take your place temporarily.
PSWs need to strike a balance between offering empathy while not overstepping boundaries
Use Personal Support Worker Training to Provide Families with Practical Assistance
Regardless of whether news was sudden or expected, many families may find it difficult to cope. For some individuals, this may be the first time they have dealt with such a situation. The practical support offered by graduates of personal support worker training can be especially valuable during this time. For example, if a client has received a difficult diagnosis or has lost mobility, the assistance you provide with things like personal hygiene and mealtimes can help them maintain a high quality of life. This in turn can reassure families that their loved ones are receiving the best care they can.
Personal Support Workers Can Take Their Cues from Grieving Families
Everybody grieves in their own way, which is something to be cognizant of in your profession after completing a personal support worker diploma. Some people will be very emotional, while others may appear the opposite. People going through grief often worry that they are not doing it the “right” way. As a PSW, you need to remain non-judgemental of how people grieve. Some may want to talk to you about their loved one, while others will want to be left alone. Again, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, so take your cues from the family when approaching these situations.
Are you interested in a career as a personal support worker?
Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn more about our personal support worker courses.
2018-02-21 by NAHB
Have you ever heard that it’s best to learn by doing? Even if you read up a lot from textbooks, listen closely to lectures, and watch instructional videos, it’s actually implementing what you’ve learned in practice that really cements your new knowledge in place. Learning by doing also leaves you aware of the fact that each situation you may face is unique and may require you to adapt your approach.
Hands-on training is especially useful for professions that include working with people. Personal support workers (PSWs) fall into this category. On a daily basis, PSWs provide hands-on assistance to their clients, aiding them with their daily living. Many of their tasks may be delicate in nature, such as helping a client get dressed or assisting with personal hygiene. Not only is it important for PSWs to be ready to do their work upon graduation, but it’s also crucial for them to know how to communicate well with their clients. Hands-on training can help with that. Keep reading to learn more.
Hands-on Training Helps to Put Theory to Practice
For a lot of the tasks that you will need to carry out on a daily basis once you earn a personal support worker certificate, just having theoretical knowledge is not enough. That’s because as a PSW, your work affects the wellbeing of real people, so it’s important to know how to perform essential tasks without needing to consult a manual or do guesswork.
A number of the tasks PSWs may need to do can be tricky and intricate, like helping a client who may have mobility issues or generally assisting with personal hygiene. In these cases, theory can help you understand why a particular approach works best, but hands-on training will help you apply that theory to help each client.
Hands-on training will leave you ready to perform the work of a PSW
Working With Real People Helps You Understand Client Individuality
Even when you know how to do something theoretically, some skills that are essential during a PSW career can only be perfected when practicing with real people. Compassionate communication with respect to the individual is one of them. Being able to work with actual clients while earning your personal support worker diploma will help you learn interpersonal skills that are key to effective communication.
Practical learning teaches you communication skills crucial to the career of a PSW
Through hands-on training, you’ll also discover that each client is unique and could require different approaches to care. For example, you may find that assisting a patient with dementia is very different from assisting a patient with mobility issues. You may also find that some clients can collaborate more easily in some areas while others have greater difficulty. Experiencing such things during training teaches you that each individual is different and has unique needs that you must take into account when performing your work.
Practical Training Leaves You Ready to Become a PSW
By obtaining a great balance of information and experience through hands-on training, graduates finish school ready to hit the ground running as a PSW. In other words, practical training whereby you practice your learned skills right away turns your knowledge into ready-to-implement know-how, and your expectations upon graduation are attuned to the real-life environment.
PSW programs that include job placements as part of the qualification process are especially helpful in this manner because not only do students get even more hands-on experience, but they also develop valuable contacts in the working world that can prove helpful once they’re searching for their first job.
Are you looking to become a PSW?
Explore the courses offered by NAHB that are complemented by a job placement!
2018-01-24 by NAHB
Job interviews can feel a bit stressful, especially when it’s for a position you’ve always wanted. Fortunately, preparing ahead of time can lessen those fluttering nerves. One of the best ways to prepare is to do some research on questions that might come up during the interview. This way you have the chance to pre-formulate answers to some of the questions that you may be asked.
Some questions—like “what are your strengths and weaknesses”—come up in most job interviews, whether you’re applying to work as a personal support worker (PSW) or not. However, as you begin your career as a PSW, you might encounter a few other common career-specific interview questions often asked by employers. Here are some of the questions you might hear, as well as a few standard interview prep tips you should never forget.
Scenario-Based Questions Are Frequently Asked During Interviews for PSW Positions
The most common interview questions often asked when applying for PSW positions are scenario-based ones. This means that you are asked about how you might apply your skills and knowledge to a specific situation, or how you may have done so in the past.
Scenario-based questions help employers know how you would approach different responsibilities
An example of a scenario-based question is how you might care for a palliative client. Another scenario-based question you could be asked is what you might do if a client falls. Remembering the training you completed when earning your personal support worker diploma will help you answer these kinds of questions. You can provide an example of a time when you encountered this type of situation during your community placement or arranged long-term care placement, or discuss how the courses you completed in Palliative Care, Assisting the Family/Coping Mechanisms, and more helped equip you with the skills to handle these scenarios. Demonstrating how your training has prepared you for many different situations will show employers that you are ready for the challenges of this role.
Questions About Dealing With a Difficult Situations in Your Personal Support Worker Career
A common set of scenario-based questions aspiring PSWs often encounter are those asking how you may deal with aggressiveness and other difficult situations during your personal support worker career. Aggressiveness, frustration, and anger can sometimes come from a resident, their family members, of even a stressed co-worker. While these negative situations might not be a common occurrence, they could happen from time to time throughout your career.
A client might feel scared and frustrated about a medical condition they have, or family might have difficulty processing what their loved one is going through. Sometimes, aggressiveness can be a symptom of a medical condition such as dementia. Often in these circumstances, your ability to remain calm and professional can help diffuse the situation. Knowing that a caring professional is listening to them and taking their concerns seriously can go a long way towards soothing a stressed client or family member.
By telling employers how you would address these types of situations, and by providing examples of how you have remained professional in the past, you can demonstrate that you would be a valuable member of the team.
There Are a Number of Things You Should Not Forget Prior to Any Interview
No matter what position you may be interviewing for, there are a number of things you should always do—before, during, and after your interview. Prepare for the interview in advance not only by reviewing and answering possible questions, but also by figuring out how long it will take you to get there and what you want to wear for the interview. This way, you won’t have to worry about running late or forgetting something important. During the interview you should also maintain eye contact, smile, and take your time to answer questions without rushing in. Also feel free to ask questions to the interviewer as well, which can help demonstrate your interest in the position and the organization. By keeping these points in mind, you’ll be able to shine during your job search after graduation.
Are you looking to change lives by becoming a personal support worker?
Explore the PSW courses offered by NAHB!
2017-08-13 by NAHB
PSW PROGRAMS ONTARIO – STARTS IN SEPTEMBER AND NOW COULDN’T BE A BETTER TIME TO ENROLL
PSW Programs Ontario
Personal Support Workers play a crucial role in providing care for the aging, injured and ill population. The main goal of a PSW is to create an environment of physical, emotional and social wellbeing where patients have the assistance they need to uphold good health, but also maintain their independence. As the average age of the population continues to rise, Ontario needs more PSWs than ever before.
If you’re interested in the Personal Support Worker certificate, there are several rewarding career options that open up to you after earning a diploma. Currently, PSWs are some of the most in-demand healthcare workers in Ontario, especially in places like:
- Nursing homes
- Non-profit organizations
- Private homes
Experts suggest that the demand will continue to increase over the next several years. Read on to find out why, and how this demand could be a great opportunity for you to make a difference in the lives of those in need in your community.
More PSWs Needed to Maintain High Quality Care
In the role of a personal support worker, providing quality care means being able to meet all the needs of your patients, whether that means preparing meals, helping them get ready for their day with tasks like bathing and grooming, or sometimes simply spending time with them for social support.
In many areas throughout Ontario, the demand for support care workers is so great that a single PSW is working with multiple clients per day. This means that professionals who currently have a PSW certificate are constantly on the go, inevitably limiting the personal quality of care that is required, and preventing PSWs from building that important and beneficial caregiver relationship with clients and their families.
As the Baby Boomers Age, Canada Will Need More Personal Support Workers
The aging baby boomer population will inevitably have a major impact on Canada’s healthcare system, and is yet another reason why it will be increasingly important to have more personal support workers in the upcoming years.
The baby boomer generation began to move into retirement in 2012. Due to Canada’s low birth rate, approximately one in four Canadians will be senior citizens by 2036. In this year, Canada’s 8.2 million boomers will require a large amount of the country’s healthcare services, including ongoing support from professionals with a PSW certificate.
PSW Programs Ontario: Why Ontario Needs More Personal Support Workers Than Ever Before
In an effort to standardize quality of care and meet the growing demand for PSWs in hospitals, long-term care facilities and private homes, the Ontario provincial government has taken several measures in recent years.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently developed a PSW Registry to collect information about the training and employment status of the nearly 100,000 PSWs working in Ontario, in an effort to better understand PSWs and to help make sure they had all they needed to provide proper care.
Ontario’s government also took a major role in developing personal support worker programs for career colleges which improves and standardizes the level of personal care given to clients. The programs are a balance between practical theory and hands-on training, so if training to become a PSW is something that interests you, you’ll graduate with all the knowledge you need to step right into the workplace!
What aspects of a personal support worker career most interests you?
2017-04-04 by NAHB
The description of a Personal Support Worker will always vary from job to job but in general, some of the most common duties are:
- Following a care plan, observing and reporting any substantial findings and/or changes in patient/resident/client’s behavior to the appropriate registered member of the healthcare team.
- Working under the supervision of a Registered Healthcare Professional such as a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
- Performing tasks delegated to them (only if they are trained to perform the delegated task)
- Assisting with ambulation, positioning and transferring using mechanical lifts such as a Hoyer lift.
- Assisting or providing total personal care such as toileting, and bathing.
- Assisting with eating, dressing and grooming.
- Assisting nursing staff by answering call bells (In Hospitals and Long-Term care homes)
- Performing sitter duty or patient-watch for confused patients in clinical care settings.
- Computer or paper documentation of Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) and other findings.
- Reporting behavioral and clinical changes to a Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse, Resource Nurse or Manager.
In addition to the basic outline of a Personal Support Worker, there are a number of different employment opportunities across Ontario. Personal Support Work is a highly employable field with many positions available at various healthcare locations such as hospitals, private healthcare facilities, hospices, retirement and nursing residences, palliative care units and in-home care positions.
For more information about earning your certificate in Personal Support Work and becoming career ready in less than a year, contact National Academy of Health & Business today.
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2015-12-09 by NAHB
Individualized care is a common method that personal support workers (PSWs) use to provide care to patients. This technique focuses on patients as individuals, and steers PSWs away from simply completing the mandatory tasks required of them. Professional PSWs know that individualized care involves putting patients and their families first, and considering their valuable feedback when making important decisions—like choosing the best ways to provide care, for example. It also means that PSWs should consider their patients’ values, backgrounds, family situations, lifestyles, and social circumstances in order to best work with them in developing appropriate and rewarding solutions.
Because individualized care has to be applied to the needs of different individuals, it cannot be defined in a single way. If you’re planning to pursue a personal support worker career, read on to learn how you can incorporate more of an individualized approach once you break into the field.
Personal Support Worker Training Teaches Students to Get to Know Patients
The basic philosophy behind individualized care is that everybody matters. Once you begin your career, after completing your personal support worker training, it’ll be important to take the time to get to know each individual you care for. When providing home care, the early stages of patient relationships are an excellent time to better connect with them.
PSWs are often required to help patients with meal preparation. When planning meals with your patients, ask them what some of their favorite dishes are. Perhaps they enjoy certain foods that you don’t necessarily know how to prepare. If this is the case, you might ask them to share some of their family recipes with you. If you take the extra steps needed to prepare a meal that your patients will enjoy, not only will you be providing good individualized care, but you will also be learning something new!
Connecting with people could be as simple as learning all about their favorite foods.
Always try to keep conversations going during your visits. Whether you’re helping patients with bathing and grooming, or helping them take their medication for the day, speak to them as though you are getting to know a new friend. Ask them about their interests, families and friends. Talking with your patients rather than at them will set a warm tone, which can help you both look forward to your visits together.
Personal Support Worker Courses Teach Students to Make Many Connections
Another great way to get to know patients better is to connect with their immediate circle. Earning your personal support worker diploma will make you an important part of a health care team. Therefore, speaking with doctors, pharmacists, and other health care professionals can give you some tremendous insight into how to provide individualized care.
Does your patient have any medical conditions that cause physical discomfort? Does their medication have any side-effects that would make them need more rest? Obtaining answers from health practitioners can really help you fine-tune your approach for your following visits.
Family members also know the story of their beloved relative’s medical history, personal preferences, moods, habits and more. Gathering bits of information about patients from family members can broaden your understanding of patients and help them feel confident that they are in good hands.
Broaden your employment opportunities by enrolling in personal support worker courses at a leading career college.
Visit NAHB to learn more about our training programs or to speak with an advisor.
2015-08-26 by NAHB
Supporting the elderly members of your community can result in amazing benefits for both your patients and yourself. Those who pursue careers in elderly care build close relationships with a variety of wonderful and interesting people. This lets them find personal and professional fulfillment while giving back to the generations that had a hand in building today’s world.
If you are planning to enroll in personal support worker courses, or you have already started your program, read on to learn some of the most valuable parts of working in elderly patient support.
PSWs Greatly Impact the Lives of Individual Patients
Dedicating your time to helping an elderly person in need will make a real difference in that person’s life. Elderly patients and nursing home residents truly need the services you will learn to provide. Without personal support workers (PSW), their comfort and confidence might decline.
These patients may have difficulty bathing, dressing, cooking, eating, or independently caring for their health. PSWs often advocate for their needs, and even take note of a patient’s temperature and blood pressure—all to ensure that they’re as healthy and happy as possible. PSWs become the vital ingredient for an elderly person’s best possible life.
Support Professionals Earn Gratitude Through Providing Compassionate Care
PSW courses will teach you just how much value you’ll be adding to your patients’ lives, but today’s support workers attest that you’ll often hear it from the patients themselves. Smiling faces and heartfelt appreciation remind support professionals that they’re making a difference, and help keep them motivated to continue their care work.
A personal support worker’s frequent presence and kind, warm nature can also become an important part of their patient’s social lives. Often, a friendly appointment or visit is the highlight of a patient’s day. Your presence can make the difference between a lonely patient and a happy, fulfilled one. This means you’ll be greeted as a friend each time you enter your workplace, something not many modern professionals get to experience.
PSWs Receive Continued Education through Trust and “Time Travel”
While personal support worker training will teach you how best to provide elderly care, your education is just beginning at graduation. Personal care workers have the unique opportunity to learn every single day, from experience, colleagues, and especially their individual patients.
Working with people who have varying ages and longstanding memories can enrich your understanding and appreciation for times long past.
If you’re passionate about supporting elderly members of your family or community, you’ll know that those who’ve lived long lives can offer incredible lessons to those willing to listen. PSW professionals can build trusting relationships with these incredible people, gathering stories of historical events and individual cultural legacies that can span decades upon decades. You can’t get these genuinely touching connections to the past anywhere else.
Job Security for Personal Support Workers
If you’re interested in earning a personal support worker diploma, you probably aren’t doing it just for yourself. Students enrolled in PSW programs tend to be compassionate people, likely to put others’ needs before their own. However, job security is an undeniable added benefit to earning this diploma and supporting others.
These days, people are living longer—needing infrastructure to provide them with a high quality of life throughout the duration of their retirements. As the post-WWII baby boomer generation reaches closer to their golden years, the sector is quickly growing to accommodate them. In fact, there is no better time to become certified in personal support work.
Are you interested in enrolling in personal support worker courses? Visit NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.
2014-06-25 by NAHB
A combination of health care restructuring and an aging population make Canada an ideal market for the personal support worker. More and more patients are recovering from injuries, chronic health conditions, and operations at home – and long term care facilities are expecting an influx of clients in the years to come.
Professionals holding a personal support worker diploma will find opportunities for employment in both the public and private sector. Working with clients of all ages and diverse care requirements, they support the patient’s day-to-day wellness by performing a wide range of tasks.
Here are 3 invaluable ways the PSW improves patients’ lives:
Graduates of PSW courses are fully trained health care professionals. As part of a collaborative medical team, they routinely monitor and document each patient’s vital signs. Personal support workers take blood pressure, temperature and pulse, collect specimens as needed, and report their observations to doctors and nurses. The PSW also helps prepare patients for operations, ensures that medicines are taken as prescribed, and even assists in the cleaning and sterilization of equipment. Covering all the bases, personal support workers are there from start to finish, a continual point of contact for patients, their families, and other members of the medical health care team.
Nurses are busy, doctors are often seen only briefly – but the PSW is always accessible and on hand for patients who need special care. And they do much more than look after a client’s physical well being. The PSW is a particularly caring and empathetic professional who watches over the mental and emotional condition of each patient. If working in a home setting, they will ease the burden of daily chores, taking care of laundry, light house work, and even grocery shopping. Like a close friend, they establish a personal connection with patients – offering a relaxing massage or talking through concerns and fears. The PSW addresses the full needs of the patient, from the practical to the emotional.
Professionals in the field and students currently enrolled in a personal support worker course understand that patient care extends beyond the home or health care facility. Not only does the PSW supervise doctor-approved exercise, they will often make arrangements for patients to get outdoors and participate in social events. After getting to know the interests of their patients and taking into account any special needs, personal support workers set up activities and social opportunities, accompanying clients to and from events. This aspect of support is crucial to the patient’s sense of community connection, which in turn helps facilitate emotional wellbeing and medical recovery.
Working hand in hand, these 3 crucial areas of support form the basis of the PSW’s job profile – and the foundation of empathetic, personalized health care in Canada.
What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of working as a PSW?