Career Development

What Does a Personal Support Worker Do?

Find out what a personal support worker does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a personal support worker.

Personal support workers (PSWs) provide assistance to individuals with a wide range of needs, including bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and other activities of daily living. They may also help clients maintain their homes or apartments by doing tasks such as shopping for groceries, cleaning, cooking, etc.

Personal support workers are often the primary point of contact for clients they serve. This means that they spend a lot of time interacting with them on a one-on-one basis. As a result, it’s important that they have strong interpersonal skills so that they can build positive relationships with their clients.

Personal Support Worker Job Duties

Personal support workers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining client records and updating them according to new information or changes in the client’s situation
  • Assisting clients with bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, and other activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Providing emotional support to clients who are suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues
  • Helping clients with grooming tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming hair
  • Providing personal care services such as dressing, bathing, feeding, grooming, and assisting with hygiene tasks such as using inhalers or brushing teeth
  • Providing physical support by assisting clients with their activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, toileting, and transferring in and out of bed or a wheelchair
  • Providing companionship to clients who are socially isolated or have difficulty forming close relationships with others
  • Helping clients maintain their homes by doing chores such as cleaning, shopping for groceries, doing laundry, or fixing small household repairs
  • Planning activities for clients to help them enjoy their leisure time more fully

Personal Support Worker Salary & Outlook

Personal support worker salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $59,500 ($28.61/hour)

The employment of personal support workers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As the large baby-boom population ages, more people will need help with daily activities, such as eating and bathing. In addition, many personal care aides work in nursing homes, which are projected to see increased demand for services over the decade.

Related: Personal Support Worker Interview Questions and Answers

Personal Support Worker Job Requirements

A personal support worker typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Personal care workers are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in health care or a related field. These degrees can provide personal care workers with a strong foundation in health care and assist them in advancing their careers.

Training & Experience: Personal support workers typically receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training may include instruction on the organization’s policies and procedures, patient or client care, and how to use the equipment and supplies provided.

Certifications & Licenses: Personal support workers do not require any certifications to earn their position. However, some employers may prefer candidates who have a valid first aid certificate or a CPR certificate.

Personal Support Worker Skills

Personal support workers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Personal support workers must be able to communicate effectively with their patients and their supervisors. They must be able to explain their treatment plans and answer any questions their patients or their patients’ families may have. They must also be able to communicate with their supervisors to report on their patients’ progress and receive feedback on their treatment plans.

Empathy and compassion: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Personal support workers must have empathy to help their clients. For example, if a client is grieving the loss of a loved one, a personal support worker can comfort them and share their own feelings to help the client feel understood.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a timely manner. Personal support workers often have many tasks to complete in a day, so it’s important for them to manage their time well. This can help them complete their duties on time and provide quality care to their clients.

Physical stamina: Personal support workers often have to lift and move patients, help them stand and walk and perform other physical tasks. Physical stamina is the ability to perform physical tasks for long periods of time without getting tired.

Technological skills: Personal support workers should have basic computer skills, including the ability to use a mouse, keyboard and other computer accessories. They should also be familiar with various software programs, including word processing, spreadsheet and calendar programs.

Personal Support Worker Work Environment

Personal support workers typically work in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, and provide care and assistance to residents who are unable to care for themselves. They may also work in hospitals, home health care agencies, or other settings. Personal support workers typically work shifts that include evenings, weekends, and holidays, and they may be required to work overtime. The work can be physically demanding, and personal support workers must be able to lift and transfer residents. The work can also be emotionally demanding, as personal support workers must deal with the residents’ physical and emotional needs, as well as the needs of their families.

Personal Support Worker Trends

Here are three trends influencing how personal support workers work. Personal support workers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the Senior Population

The senior population is growing at a rapid rate, which is leading to an increased demand for personal support workers. As more and more seniors require assistance with daily tasks, personal support workers will be needed to help them stay in their homes and communities.

Personal support workers can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in specific areas, such as dementia care or home health care. This will allow them to provide the highest level of care to those who need it most.

More Technology Use in Healthcare

As technology advances, it is being used more and more in the healthcare industry. This is because technology can help improve patient care and reduce costs.

Personal support workers can take advantage of this trend by learning how to use technology in their jobs. This includes using software to track patient data, communicate with other members of the healthcare team, and manage appointments. In addition, personal support workers should be familiar with the latest medical devices so that they can help patients use them effectively.

Greater Emphasis on Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction has become an increasingly important factor in the healthcare industry. Hospitals and other healthcare providers are now placing greater emphasis on customer service in order to keep patients happy and encourage them to return for future treatment.

This trend is having a significant impact on the personal support worker profession, as these professionals are often responsible for providing direct care to patients. By understanding the importance of patient satisfaction and how to achieve it, personal support workers can better position themselves for success in the future.

How to Become a Personal Support Worker

A personal support worker career can be a great way to start your career in the healthcare field. As a personal support worker, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of people and help them live their lives to the fullest. You’ll also learn about different illnesses and conditions, which will give you a better understanding of how to care for people who are sick or disabled.

To become a personal support worker, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program. Many schools offer online courses that are designed specifically for personal support workers. These courses will teach you everything you need to know about providing care to people who are sick or disabled.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a Personal Support Worker. One way is to get more education, such as a diploma or degree in a related field such as health sciences. This will give you the opportunity to apply for jobs that are not open to those without this level of education. Another way to advance your career is to specialize in a certain area, such as geriatrics or palliative care. This can be done by taking courses or getting certification in this area. You may also be able to advance by taking on more responsibility at your current job, such as becoming a team leader or supervisor.

Personal Support Worker Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide high-quality, compassionate care to seniors in our community. We’re looking for a Personal Support Worker (PSW) to join our team and provide support to our clients in their own homes. The ideal candidate will have a caring and compassionate nature, as well as experience providing personal care, light housekeeping, and companionship to seniors. You will be responsible for promoting the physical, emotional, and social well-being of our clients, and will work closely with the Registered Nurse to ensure that all care plans are being followed.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist clients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring
  • Plan and prepare meals in accordance with client’s dietary needs and preferences
  • Perform light housekeeping duties, such as laundry, vacuuming, and dusting
  • Provide companionship and social interaction, engaging clients in conversation, outings, and other activities
  • Assist clients with exercises to maintain their mobility and range of motion
  • Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by the client’s health care professional
  • Monitor clients’ physical and emotional well-being and report any changes to the supervisor
  • Keep accurate records of clients’ progress and services provided
  • Adhere to all safety policies and procedures
  • Respect clients’ privacy and maintain confidentiality of personal information
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the health care team
  • Attend mandatory training sessions and staff meetings

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Personal Support Worker certificate from a recognized institution
  • First Aid and CPR certification
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Flexible availability to work days, evenings, weekends, and holidays

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in health sciences or related field
  • 2+ years of experience working as a Personal Support Worker
  • Experience working with seniors and/or persons with disabilities
  • Working knowledge of another language, preferably French


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