If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have either finished your personal support worker (PSW) course or are getting ready to complete it. Or, you may be wondering if this is the right program for you and would like to know more about job opportunities once you complete your schooling. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place!
Upon completing your personal support worker accreditation, you’ll be well versed in physiology, anatomy, mental and physical health changes, as well as all aspects of patient care and standards of care in specific cases, such as when assisting those with dementia or those in palliative care.
With these skills, you’ll be prepared to act as a personal support worker in both the public and private sectors. You will gain experience in both settings during your clinical placement hours. For all personal support worker jobs, the starting salary in Ontario is approximately $28 000 per year, but this will vary depending on your chosen career path.
Here, we’ll take a look at the opportunities in both the public and private sectors and how Cestar College can help prepare you for your career as a PSW! First, we’ll take a look at private care jobs for personal support workers.
As a personal support worker, you can choose to work in either the public or private sector. In the private sector, this may mean that you have been hired by a family to care for an individual in-home, rather than going through public health care or hospital services. That said, this tends to be more intensive, as you may be providing round the clock care.
Your day to day activities can include grocery shopping, cooking, companionship, administering medications, or support to the family as a whole. You’ll likely be part of a varied healthcare team but will lead in supporting and improving your patient’s quality of life on a daily basis. You may also find similar work through private agencies that arrange in-home care for patients in need, and can work with one or more families at a time, depending on their needs and schedule.
Alternatively, you can work for a private hospice, long-term care facility, or nursing home and provide care to multiple patients in a facility on a regular or semi-regular schedule. You will have a variety of clients whose needs you will attend on a regular basis, but you will also work directly with other healthcare professionals to ensure they are receiving the best possible care.
If you’re looking for a job in the private care sector, the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association lists current job postings on their site for individuals, private facilities, and the like and can be a great resource for those looking to get into the field outside of the traditional avenues for job hunting.
That said, you may find that private care isn’t the right fit for you. Let’s take a look at what job opportunities there are in the public sector for a personal support worker.
There are some overlaps in the opportunities available in private and public sector jobs. You may also find work in community agencies that offer in-home care to individuals in need who can’t afford private care, or you can work in publicly funded care facilities. However, the most popular way to become a personal support worker in the public sector is to acquire a job in a hospital. Here, you’ll provide care to a variety of patients alongside a team of doctors and nurses, and help them navigate the transition from hospital to home life. You may also be their first introduction to a PSW and can help them understand what their needs are and how a PSW can help with them.
Jobs in hospitals have been considered hard to get given the limited number of openings, but more and more hospitals are expanding the role of PSWs to assist in many inpatient units such as emergency, critical care, neurology, and rehab units.
With many hospitals, you may need to go through an employment agency to facilitate your job applications and ensure that candidates are vetted ahead of the interview process. This can be beneficial for helping you develop professional connections and get your foot in the door at major hospitals that rely on such agencies.
You may also want to consider registering with the Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario (also a good idea for private-sector employees) that, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, ensures that all PSWs meet the same standards of care, verifies credentials, and can also connect you to registered employers.
But how do you prepare to start your career as a PSW, regardless of whether you prefer the public or private sector? You can start by enrolling in an accredited program, like at Cestar College in Toronto, whose mission is to ensure you have all the tools you need to jumpstart your career!
How Cestar College Can Help
Cestar College in Toronto offers a seven-month NAAC Personal Support Worker program for those who want to get into the field. Your course of study will cover essential topics such as abuse and neglect, safety and mobility, family assistance, and cognitive and mental health issues.
You will also complete 300 hours of clinical placements in both the community and a facility, so you have an understanding of personal support worker roles in different organizations, and help you decide on your career path later on.
Successfully completing the NAAC examination at the end of your course will ensure that you meet all the requirements to work safely as a PSW, and is recognized by employers as a national standard.
Ready to begin your career as a personal support worker? Contact us today to learn more about our program and opportunities as a PSW in Toronto. We also offer flexible financial aid and an easily accessible campus in North Toronto. We’re sure you will find the right fit at Cestar!