A personal support worker or PSW is responsible for a number of day to day tasks to assist medical professionals and facility staff with patients. A worker might spend time changing bed linens, washing and ironing patients' laundry, or straightening up the patients' quarters. The personal support worker is often asked to take vital signs by checking the patients' pulse, body temperature, and respiratory status. The worker will help to oversee patients in simple exercises recommended by doctors or in the use of braces, artificial limbs, and other equipment that assists with mobility; one would also assist clients getting in and out of beds, baths, vehicles, and wheelchairs as well as help with getting dressed and ready for the day. An employee in this position will often keep patients company, and converse with or read aloud to them to help promote their mental health and keep them alert. The support worker keeps records of patient care and progress, and reports any observed problems to a supervisor or the patient's case manager. A personal support worker assists patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or even those in private homes when such assistance is required by elderly or otherwise infirm individuals. A medical degree is not required for the position, but most workers hold certification in first aid and other non-doctorate areas in the field of health. Workers should have excellent manual dexterity and a high level of interpersonal communication skills. As the needs of patients vary, the schedule for a personal care worker can vary greatly and include evening or weekend hours.
Personal Support Worker (PSW) Tasks
- Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
- Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
- Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
- Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
- Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.