A personal support worker playing puzzles with an elderly client

How to Know if a PSW Career Is Right for You

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are individuals who are trained to provide supportive care and ensure the physical and psycho-social well-being of their patients or clients is looked after. A PSW works closely with individuals who are elderly, ill, and/or disabled and assist them with their daily tasks. Though there are inherent challenges in pursuing a PSW career, it remains to be one of the most fulfilling and secure careers in the healthcare industry. 

If you are reading this article, you might be wondering if a PSW career is a good fit for you. You could be fresh out of secondary school and looking for the right career path; or you might be considering a career shift.

In this article, we cover the personality traits that PSWs should embody to help inform you about whether or not a PSW career is right for you. 

Let’s get started!

How to Know if a PSW Career Is Right for You

1. You are Called Towards Making a Difference in Your Community

For most individuals who pursue a PSW career, making a difference in their community is of high importance. If this aligns with your goals, becoming a personal support worker is a good path for you. This career is centred on helping and making a difference in someone’s life. 

As a PSW, you will assist patients/clients with daily living tasks such as eating, bathing, taking medications, and so on. But there’s more to it than just practical help. You will also be a person to which your patient/client can confide in. All in all, becoming a PSW would put you in the best position to help others achieve the best possible quality of life.

Do you find joy and fulfillment in helping others? Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone who really needs it – like the elderly, the sick, and the disabled? If yes, then put a checkmark on this first sign – you’re already showing great promise as a future PSW!

2. You Want to Work in the Healthcare Industry – Quickly

One of the key advantages of a PSW career is that it can begin right after accelerated learning. For instance, the full, immersive NACC Personal Support Worker Program offered by Cestar College only takes 7 months to complete. This intensive training culminates in clinical placements to help graduates gather real-world experience so that they will be ready for PSW work. This is the kind of training that PSWs in Ontario need to make sure that they are set up for success.

Currently, practicing as a PSW in Canada does not require the passing of a licensure exam. Because of this, employers pay more attention to which training institution the graduate is certified from. This is why it’s very important for aspiring PSWs to enroll in the right PSW program from an institution that is recognized by employers and complies with NACC standards. This is also the reason why the PSW certificates issued by Cestar College have a unique serial number – this way, each graduate’s link to the institution can be easily verified by future employers. 

3. You Seek a Career With Abundant Opportunities and Job Security

Certain factors contribute to why there is a high demand for personal support workers in Canada. First, is the aging population of the country. Within recent years, the population of individuals aged 65 – 84 collectively rose by more than 1.4 million.  Most individuals within this demographic are in need of supportive care – whether they are in an assisted living community, a nursing home, or even in their own residence.

Along with the aging population is the higher demand for quality of life. This is where PSWs step in. Of course, PSWs can also work with clients who are not within this stated age range; they also work with those who are ill or disabled. However, an abundance of opportunities can definitely be seen in senior care.

There are various other job titles for positions that can be filled by a well-trained PSW. Job opportunities listed as home support worker, respite worker, and continuing care assistant all fall under the PSW umbrella. If you want to learn more about the various positions that PSWs can apply for, check out our article on Career Opportunities for Personal Support Workers. 

How to Know if a PSW Career Is Right for You

4. You Want the Possibility of Varied Work Environments

As there are a variety of jobs for PSWs, there are also various environments that PSWs can work in. Personal support workers typically work in places such as assisted living communities, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, private homes, hospitals, and agencies.

 If these are work environments that you are drawn to, then a PSW career is a good fit for you.

5. You Want the Opportunity to Grow Within Your Career

As a PSW, there are various opportunities available for you to advance your career. Upskilling through continued education can be available online, through your employer, and/or through a training institution. There are even a few courses available that are free of charge – such as those offered by the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety

Another option for advancement is to eventually become a registered nurse. PSW training as well as the valuable experience you get on the job are great foundations for a career as a registered nurse. Numerous colleges even offer PSW to RPN bridging which allows PSWs to upgrade their clinical qualifications to become a registered nurse.   

Where Can I Train to Become a Personal Support Worker?

The NACC Personal Support Worker Course offered by Cestar College prepares aspiring PSWs for success. The program has a comprehensive and standardized curriculum that is delivered using instructional methods that appeal to all styles of learning. This program also gives fresh graduates practical experience by including clinical placements. In these clinical placements, students gain hands-on experience in various work environments.

At the end of the course, you will receive an employer-recognized certification. As a recent graduate, you are privy to Cestar College’s job placement assistance to help with your career goals.

If you have any questions for us about our course, PSW career options, or if you’d like to take the next steps, please feel free to contact us!

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