06 Oct 2014

Can Personal Support Workers Work for Nursing Homes?

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    Nursing homes are just one of the places that personal support workers can find jobs! Also known as Health Care Aides, Home Support Workers, and Personal Attendants, Personal Support Workers are known to work in a variety of medical health facilities and community resources including:

    • Long-term care facilities and nursing homes
    • Retirement homes
    • Group homes
    • Hospitals
    • In the homes of their clients

    Personal Support Workers work mainly with elderly people or those with physical and/or mental disabilities. Their duties include performing household chores, assisting clients with personal care and grooming, aiding with mobility for those with disabilities, providing friendship and companionship, and assisting clients in virtually every aspect of their life in which they require such assistance.

    For elderly people unable to perform daily chores without assistance or those with disabilities, personal support workers are often the last thing between their continued independence and needing to move to into a dedicated long-term care facility. By allowing these people to remain in their homes while still having access to the support and assistance they require, personal support workers contribute greatly to the happiness and comfort of their clients.

    The work can be hard and requires a great amount of physical strength along with a positive and caring attitude. Shift work is to be expected as these workers are often required to work in a large number of different private homes assisting various clients. They must adapt well to new situations and be willing to provide help with a wide variety of day-to-day tasks including eating, bathing, shopping, and cleaning.

    A specific personality type is required for a successful and happy personal support worker, and this typically includes:

    • A positive attitude
    • Patience
    • Compassion
    • Good organizational skills
    • Flexibility to change and unexpected situations
    • The ability to work alone or as part of a team

    One year of post-secondary education and a Health Care Aide College Certification is required for those wishing to work as a personal support worker. They will also be required to be fully trained in CPR and first aid and should have a background in health, biology, math, English, and family studies. These jobs are fairly in-demand and the chances of finding a job after completion of training is pretty high. Most workers earn between $6 000-$28 000 annually, but wages will depend greatly on the nature of their employer and the setting of their employment.

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