According to many people, personal support workers are some of the most under-appreciated workers out in the workforce. There has been a lot written about the working conditions they are often forced to endure and wages that don’t match up to the duties they provide. But despite any negative press the profession receives, the need for their services in the province of Ontario is increasing.
What Does a Personal Support Worker Do?
Generally speaking, personal support workers work for clients who aren’t able to care for themselves for any number of reasons. The personal support worker is responsible for domestic care and physical well-being of individuals and/or families and their list of duties can get quite long and involved.
Some of the common duties a personal support worker may perform include helping clients with general movement, dressing, undressing, personal hygiene and bathing. They might prepare meal plans and then prepare the meals and feed or help feed the clients. Sometimes, these meals plans include special diets.
Personal support workers can also perform health-related tasks and duties like changing non-sterile dressings and giving medications to clients who can’t do it themselves. Sometimes, if new parents aren’t confident with childcare duties, a personal support worker can come in and demonstrate basic infant care to them.
Some of the domestic chores a personal support worker will help with include doing basic housekeeping like making beds, vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes or laundry. They also help with elderly clients who might not have the companionship they need.
Being a personal support worker is definitely one of those jobs that you have to love, because you can’t just go through the motions and hope to experience any degree of success. It can be terribly challenging, but at the same time it can be terribly satisfying and rewarding.
The Aging Population
And it is the aging of the population that has prompted the increased need for personal support workers. There is an employment resources website called “Labour Market Information” that is managed by the federal Ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development that says the needs of the aging Canadian population is “increasing the demand for workers in this group.”
It makes sense that more and more people will require the services of personal support workers for help with daily living, companionship and friendship and for health-related issues. Elderly people also like to get out and about, and aren’t always able to get it done alone, which is another place the personal support worker is important.
Personal support workers make a massive difference in the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of older patients who need help. This is also a great time for younger people who get satisfaction from helping others, to explore this field as a career. The need is high and growing and it’s easy to see how the population will be aging over the next 10 to 30 years.
Learning the necessary skills and obtaining the proper health care education from a good health care training institute could lead to a long and rewarding career, helping the people that helped make Canada what it is today.
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