As the globe engages with one of the most severe health crises in history, professions in healthcare are becoming more in demand, not just in hospitals but also in long-term care institutions and home care settings, among other places. While individuals continue to return to work once the lockdowns have ended, an increasing number of families are searching for caregivers to offer their loved ones the assistance they need to carry out their regular tasks.
What Is the Role of a PSW (Personal Support Worker)?
The term “personal support worker” refers to an individual who specializes in giving assistance to sick or elderly individuals with their household requirements. Their primary responsibility is to offer long- or short-term care to people who are unable to care for themselves. They are able to assist individuals to improve their quality of life despite their diseases or impairments as a result of their efforts.
PSW jobs are the most common title for these caregivers, but according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC), employees who perform similar duties can also be referred to as personal aides, home support workers, personal care attendants, health care aides, nursing attendants, respite care workers, palliative care workers, supportive care assistants, and patient services associates. The titles of personal support workers differ depending on whether they are working in a hospital institution or providing home care.
PSW jobs in Canada are not covered by the Regulated Health Professions Act, making them a non-regulated profession. PSWs are hired by long-term care institutions or home care organizations, but they may also work for themselves as independent contractors. These individuals may assist their clients with chores such as cleaning and food preparation, or they can just act as companions, allowing them to interact with others.
PSW Jobs positions
Personal support workers are in great demand in Canada right now, not just because of the epidemic, but also because there are more of them retiring than there are people just starting out in this field. As a result, finding employment should not be difficult.
What Are the Responsibilities of a PSW?
PSW jobs, according to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), are responsible for a variety of tasks, including caring for people and their families during times of illness or recovery; providing bedside and personal care to clients, assisting them to move, bathe, groom, and get dressed and undressed; and administering oral medications as directed by their home care agency or supervisor.
Additionally, according to the organization, a PSW’s responsibilities include reporting and documenting unsafe conditions and behavioral, physical, or cognitive changes in their clients to a supervisor or family member, as well as completing and maintaining client records, including progress notes, for their clients.
Job Competencies for PSWs
Becoming a personal support worker is a rewarding career choice that plays an important part in society, but it does come with its share of obstacles to overcome. Since this is the case, professional social workers PSW jobs are required to possess a particular set of skills that will enable them to thrive in their careers and make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable individuals to whom they offer support. The majority of these abilities cannot be taught since they are inherent in an individual’s nature.
PSWs are required to possess the following abilities:
- The ability to cope with challenging conduct
- Using your critical thinking skills
- Excellent record-keeping and reporting abilities.
- The ability to work both alone and as a member of a team is required.
- Ability to manage one’s time
- Competencies in problem-solving
- Skills in using a computer
- Capacity to offer individual and family counseling and support services
- Ability to maintain one’s own household
- Appearance and attitude should be professional.
- The ability to cope with people of varying personalities
- Communication abilities, both written and verbal, that are exceptional
- A thorough understanding of all workplace and federal laws
- First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) abilities
- Having a working knowledge of fire safety procedures
According to the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP), PSW jobs must be able to do specific health-related activities such as changing bandages, turning patients to avoid bedsores, administering medicinal lotions, assisting with oral medicine, washing patients, and other similar tasks.
They also need to be familiar with and follow emergency procedures, as well as have good language skills for the country or region where they intend to work, because a large part of their jobs involves communicating with clients and their families in person, over the phone, and in writing, as well as taking notes, reading medication prescriptions, and even books or magazines to comfort their clients. They also need to be familiar with and follow emergency procedures.
Cestar College also describes how PSWs must be knowledgeable about the common health conditions that their potential clients may suffer from (such as arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease), particularly in the elderly demographic; how they must be familiar with the common cognitive problems and mental health issues that their clients may suffer from (such as depression, anxiety, and dementia); and how they must be knowledgeable about the common legal issues that their clients may face (such as divorce, bankruptcy, and guardianship).
To work as a PSW, you’ll need a combination of education and experience. Individuals who want to work in PSW jobs are not required to get a certification, but they are required to complete specialized training and earn a certificate, according to the website settlement.org. Additionally, high school graduation is needed to work as a PSW, and the typical amount of work experience required to get a position in the area is between zero and two years in length. As a result, the role is regarded as entry-level employment in the healthcare industry.
The fact that this work is occasionally done under the supervision of a registered health professional (RHP) and in accordance with an approved plan of care for a patient is also one of the reasons for this.
This profession was created in Ontario by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in collaboration with the Ontario Community Support Association, which set forth certain criteria for anyone who wants to pursue a diploma in personal support workers (PSWs). Due to the fact that personal support workers (PSWs) are unregulated health care professionals, there is no regulatory organization that sets criteria for the skills and expertise required to operate in this profession.
Salary of a PSW
PSW jobs salaries are determined by a variety of factors, including their years of experience, their ongoing training, their talents, their ability to speak and read in another language, and the facilities in which they work (hospitals or long-term care homes pay the highest wages, for instance). The province in which they work also influences the amount they earn, with Ontario, for example, offering a minimum wage of $16.50 per hour, which is among the highest in the country, according to the Department of Employment and Social Development.
The following are the typical wages for personal support workers in Ontario:
- For facility-based care provided by employment agencies, the rate is $14 per hour.
- 15 dollars an hour for home and residential care provided through employment agencies
- Private long-term care in nursing homes, as well as independent support workers, are paid $19 per hour on average.
- PSWs working in city-owned long-term care facilities are paid $22 per hour.
- PSWs working in hospitals are paid $23 per hour.
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Employment Opportunities for PSWs in the Future
PSW jobs employment prospects in Canada are improving, which indicates that these positions in the local healthcare industry have a promising future. Trends in labor market information point out that, as Canada’s population continues to age (according to Statistics Canada. 18 percent of Canadians were 65 years old or older as of July 1, 2020), and as more people enter the workforce, many families will be unable to provide full-time care for their elderly relatives, sick or disabled members, and will therefore seek home support workers and health care aides.