A Personal Support Worker (PSW) assists with tasks of daily living, working in long-term care facilities such as home care, retirement homes, group homes, hospitals, and other social institutions. The assistance you provide as a PSW can vary widely depending on the needs of your client. Being prepared for unexpected circumstances is a part of your daily routine.
The routine of the PSW can consist of living care, hospitality, family care and assistance with social or recreational activities; this can vary based on the necessities of each client. A PSW dedicates the majority of their time and effort towards the care of others. Effective time management skills are therefore crucial, when preparing for the day. As a personal support worker, you grow accustomed to early mornings and shifting schedules.
A typical morning begins at 7 AM for a PSW. You will likely start by changing bed sheets and hospitality-related activities. Next, you may find yourself helping a resident in the washroom and assisting with simple tasks like brushing teeth and/or dentures. This helps them get used to the routine. A PSW would help a resident with getting dressed and other personal hygiene-related tasks for the day. While these are important activities for the PSW during the day that help with the client’s comfort and hygiene, your job extends well beyond that. You are the person many residents look forward to seeing every day. With daily interactions, they will begin to rely on you and trust you for their needs. Needless to say, this can be a very rewarding experience for you.
Once the day has begun, residents are served their breakfast and meals. Specific meals are made based on preferences and dietary restrictions. Some of your clients may have difficulty eating or require more attention than others. Towards the end of the day, it is the responsibility of a PSW to note down any changes in the resident’s medical condition before leaving. This important step helps to keep their medical profile updated with important information.
One of the key strengths of a PSW is – patience. You will frequently tap into your reservoir of patience during the day as you deal with people who may not be cognitively aware. This makes constant, and effective communication crucial. No doubt your days will be packed with activities but you will still need to build that build a bond with residents. It can be through simple actions such as having a small conversations with them or playing board games.
Perspective of a retired PSW
Let’s look at this through the perspective of a retired PSW, Cindy Balazs retired after 41 years of service at a long-term care home. She believes that a day in the life of a PSW “requires lots of patience and compassion,” (Thompson, 2021). Like any other job in the medical field, this is one of the most important jobs in our society today. A lot of PSW’s tell us that they love their job. Balazs is no different. She said she really loved her job and “enjoyed working with the elderly.” (Thompson, 2021) even in these trying times of COVID. She believes that this is because her client needs her support, the human connection formed through compassion and kindness is the most rewarding aspect of being a PSW. When you become a PSW you are on the pathway for a long-term and rewarding career, your hard work pays off when you love what you do. To read more about Balazs experience: https://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/news/local-news/you-get-attached-says-psw-retiring-after-41-years-at-john-noble-home
Ontario Government has just announced $86 Million in PSW Education funding. This is being done to meet the critical need for PSW’s in our community today, especially with the ongoing crisis. This can help you fund your PSW education and even earn a Ministry approved PSW diploma free of cost. To learn more about this limited time opportunity please read our previous blog: https://aolcbrampton.com/2021/05/07/psw-funding/
For more information on how you can earn a PSW diploma call us at 365-788-4080 or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
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