Personal support workers (PSWs) are responsible for providing short- or long-term care for patients and serving as companions for those who are lonely, as well as helping them with activities of their day-to-day lives. Personal support workers are health professionals who are "unregulated," as there are no set guidelines which they follow.
These support workers are employed primarily in senior homes, private care facilities, doctors' offices, and some clinics, and some also work in private homes. Their work often revolves around providing physical care for senior citizens, including tasks such as cleaning, laundry, and recreation activities. Although educational requirements are not strict for this position, many employers prefer applicants who have a degree, certification, or some experience or background work in health care. Aspiring PSWs should volunteer at senior citizens' homes or other care facilities to familiarize themselves with the various issues and illnesses which are addressed on a regular basis.
Those in this position may work various shifts depending on their employers. Most work during the day, and some are needed for evening/night shifts or on the weekends.
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.