North American College

 North American College

 of Information Technology

Personal Support Worker *

Program Length: 28 weeks


This program is offered at our Toronto Campus


Are you a caring individual who likes to help others? 

Would you enjoy working at a career that makes you feel good about yourself at the end of the day? 

Is your career goal to work with people in the Health Care Field? 

If you’ve answered yes to these questions, this is the right career for you. Personal Support Workers (PSW’s) help people with everyday activities such as grooming, dressing, and other household tasks. 

There's a huge shortage of Personal Support Worker in Canada, and you can help fill the demand. Start now by getting the training you need to become a Personal Support Worker. This Program was developed as part of the Ontario government's plan to reform long-term care and support services which are provided to people in long-term care facilities or living at home in the community.


Modules

PSW Foundations - (55 Hrs)
This module provides an overview of the Personal Support Worker role in a variety of settings. Students will learn the principles of client-centered versus client-directed care, emphasizing the individuality of the client and his/her relationship with family, friends, and others. This module introduces the concept of individuality of all persons, their experiences, rights, interests, beliefs, and needs. Students will be introduced to the role and scope of responsibilities of PSWs, including the variety of settings, work relationships, stress and time management, and applicable legislation. Consequences of exceeding the scope of the PSW role will also be covered. This module will also introduce students to interpersonal skills and communications, including conflict resolution and problem solving.

Safety and Mobility - (40 Hrs) 
This module deals with aspects of safety as they relate to both the consumer/client and the worker. One of the fundamental activities of the Personal Support Worker is assisting the consumer/client with routine activities of living. It is essential that the PSW provide assistance in a manner that is effective, safe, and provides for client comfort. As part of this, the PSW must be aware of potential risks posed by unsafe equipment or settings and the appropriate actions to take if unsafe situations are identified. Infection control methods will be taught, as infections can cause distress for both the consumer/client and the worker. This module will also discuss body mechanics as well as consistency in transferring, lifting techniques, and the use of equipment to increase safety and reduce client anxiety, confusion, and dependency. Students will also learn the importance of proper positioning in a bed or chair for the comfort and safety of the client.

Body Systems - (30 Hrs)
This module will introduce the student to the basics of anatomy and physiology. Students will gain an understanding of human body systems in order to apply that knowledge in their daily work as a Personal Support Worker. These body systems are: the musculoskeletal, digestive, urinary, integumentary, reproductive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, and endocrine. Common disorders and age-related changes for each body system will also be covered.

Assisting with Personal Hygiene - (30 Hrs)
PSWs must have the knowledge, skill, and sensitivity to provide appropriate assistance to another person, since a significant number of clients for whom they provide service have disabilities that affect their ability to look after their personal hygiene. The Personal Support Worker will assist clients with all activities or routines of daily living. These tasks include bathing, grooming, mobility considerations, toileting, and skin care. This module will consider caring for the ill, disabled, injured, and/or a confused client. Frailness, dignity and levels of dependence will be considered. Personal hygiene involves personal safety, self-esteem, and dignity considerations.

Knowledge about the structure, function, ageing changes, and common conditions of the skin is reinforced in this module. Personal care measures around the clock will be considered. A focus on humanistic health care will build the foundation of this module. Oral care, perineal care, infection control, bathing techniques, grooming, dressing, bed making, shaving, hair care, skin care, and much more will be covered in this unit. 

Abuse and Neglect - (15 Hrs)
Family violence is a significant aspect of current society, incorporating child abuse, spousal abuse, and elder abuse. Research also indicates an increased awareness among support workers of abusive behaviour toward clients. This module introduces students to the concepts of family violence and abuse, including its possible signs, as well as appropriate actions to be taken if abuse is suspected, including legal requirements. Personal beliefs and attitudes about family violence and abuse are examined, as is the concept of worker abuse of the client. Finally, abuse of the worker is discussed. Personal Support Workers identify the concept of abuse and are able to recognize both causes and indicators. They are able to identify the requirements of legislation and to respond in accordance with legislation, employer policy, and provisions of the service contract or support plan. They recognize that the PSW may also be the focus of abuse.

Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration (30 Hrs)
In this module students will learn to assist the client with their nutritional needs, household activities, and household management according to client preferences, comfort, and safety within employer guidelines as required. Nutritional needs include planning balanced nutritious menus, preparing shopping lists, shopping, safe handling of food, storage, and specific cooking techniques. Special dietary needs of infants, pregnant and nursing mothers, persons with specific conditions (diabetes, feeding tubes, etc.), as well as persons with specific cultural and religious preferences will be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate skills in a lab environment.

 

Care Planning / Restorative Care / Documentation / Working in the Community (30 Hrs)
Support of various types is the main function of the PSW. Yet, support is more than providing help— it relies on a number of factors, not the least of which are skill and sensitivity. Optimal support refers to the ability to provide sufficient support to assist clients to do what they wish without inhibiting them. This module builds on the materials presented in the introductory module PSW Fundamentals. It identifies the support to be provided and the significance of the support to the client, and of the need for the support. Supporting the client to relearn/regain routine abilities and issues of the rights of the client as a receiver of support will be presented. The care plan or service contract is the framework within which the worker provides support to the client. The worker must know the purpose of planning, the ways in which planning is done, and the persons who are involved, including client, support workers, caregivers, and professionals. As members of the support team, PSWs will learn about implementing parts of the care plan and communicating information accurately and without judgment. These activities are conducted in accordance with employer guidelines (agency or client). Students will also be introduced to working in the community health care environment, providing support to patients and families in communities, including Individual Homes and Retirement Homes, Long Term Care Facilities, Acute Care Settings and Acquired Brain Injury Programs.

Assisting the Family, Growth and Development (25 Hrs)
This module builds a foundation for students to understand family characteristics in terms of structure, functions, roles, lifestyles, and relationships. The influence of cultural values, practices, religious beliefs as well as the effects of illness, stress, disability on family relationships will be emphasized as central to the PSWs ability to provide effective support. This module also explores the role of the PSW in providing respite and assistance to families and their children, including those with special needs. Observation of selected commonly occurring conditions related to family functioning and life cycle events are included. A central focus is on the need for awareness of and sensitivity to family reactions to the presence of the PSW, family routines, preferences, and involvement in decision-making. Assisting the family with specific practical approaches in balancing care giving and rest, skills related to infant and childcare, as well as assisting a child with special needs are addressed. The stages of growth and development throughout the life cycle are also discussed.

Assisting the Dying Person (30 Hrs)
In this module, students discuss the concept of dying as a part of life and the possible impact of life-threatening illness on the person and their family. Students will also examine personal beliefs about life-threatening illness, dying, and the provision of support to the dying person and their family and friends. Assisting the dying person to maintain a desired lifestyle and respecting their right to make decisions with regard to support are also discussed. Specific approaches within the scope of the support worker to reduce discomfort or pain within the context of a plan of support/care are covered. Care of the person at the time of death, care of the body after death, as well as any procedures that must be followed are discussed.

 

Assisting with Medications (20 Hrs)
The PSWs ability to assist a client with medication is essential in supporting client independence or in supporting a family caregiver to attend to tasks or take needed respite. Students gain basic knowledge of the drugs used in the treatment of common diseases and disorders, including drug classification, use, therapeutic effects, side/adverse effects, brand/generic names, dosage forms, routes of administration, and directions for use of these medications. Students will identify purposes of medication, required instruction/information about medications to be administered, and cautions with regard to medications.

Students will develop and demonstrate skill in reading and interpreting information on prescription containers and demonstrate assistance with oral/topical medications, as well as eye, ear, and nose drops. The importance of observation for both desired and undesired outcomes and procedures to be followed in the event of concern about or problems with medications will be discussed. PSWs are able to provide specific assistance with medications (oral, topical, eye, nose or ear drops) to the client, in keeping with the directions stated in the client care/support plan, and under the direction and monitoring of an appropriate person, whether health professional, caregiver, or family member. It is understood that this assistance is provided on the basis of case-by-case instruction by the appropriate person and cannot be generalized among clients or between support workers.

Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries (40 Hrs)
Personal Support Workers recognize that behaviours or changes in behaviour can be related to illness or other conditions such as cognitive impairment, brain injury, substance abuseu or mental illness. They use approaches and techniques to assist clients with these changes or conditions in keeping with the care/support plan and report observations to the appropriate team member. They also identify factors that can increase the risk of suicide, and recognize signs of possible suicidal behaviour. This module introduces students to common psychiatric conditions (affective disorders and schizophrenia), substance abuse, cognitive impairment, and brain injuries. The possibility of multiple conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression will be discussed. The role of the family caregiver as well as the importance of observation, documentation, and reporting will be reviewed.

Health Conditions (45 Hrs) 
As the result of an ongoing condition, many clients will require the assistance of another person in order to accomplish routine activities of living. Although PSWs are not expected to make functional assessments, they do require an understanding of the effects of disability, disease, or condition on functioning in order to provide appropriate assistance. As partners in a support or care team (along with the client and others), PSWs need to understand why, what, when, and how maintenance, rehabilitation, and restorative care are used to benefit the client. They will likely assist the client in a variety of activities, and must be able to interpret and carry out the instructions of clients and professionals involved with the client so the client receives the maximum benefit from their assistance.

This module introduces students to basic concepts of assistance as well as the general effects on the person of common disabilities, ongoing conditions, and diseases. Focusing on the importance of providing support safely, effectively, and comfortably, students will gain skill in necessary techniques. Concepts of maintenance, rehabilitation, and restoration are discussed, as is the importance of the support team in providing assistance. Activities will be discussed that require additional training, who is responsible for providing the training, and transferability of these additional skills.

Clinical Placement (Community) (110 Hrs)
Clinical placement provides students with an opportunity to practice their new skills in a work setting. While on placement, students gain experience in a wider range of PSW skills, become more self-confident, and in some cases receive offers of employment from the placement site. In this module, the students will spend time working in a community setting under the supervision of a preceptor provided by the host site. The instructor will be available by phone and email at all times during the placement. Students must meet the hour requirements and have a satisfactory rating with no critical deficiencies in all placement activities to pass the program. *Refer to the PSW Skills Passbook in Appendix I for details.*

Clinical Placement (Facility) (200 Hrs)
Clinical placement provides students with an opportunity to practice their new skills in a work setting. While on placement, students gain experience in a wider range of PSW skills, become more self-confident, and in some cases receive offers of employment from the placement site. In this module, the students will spend time working in a facility setting for 100 hours under the supervision of their instructor and under a preceptor provided by the host site for an additional 100 hours. The instructor will be available by phone and email at all times during the preceptor-supervised portion of the placement. Students must meet the hour requirements and have a satisfactory rating with no critical deficiencies in all placement activities to pass the program. *Refer to the PSW Skills Passbook in Appendix I for details. *


Placement

College also arranges 310 hours of mandatory Clinical Placement for the students. Students have to work at long-term facilities, home care services, retirement homes or senior's apartments to complete certificate requirements. Students will be able to gain experience by applying theoretical concepts in real situation.

* Certificate Program

Career Opportunities

You'll work as a Personal Support Worker in:

  • long-term care facilities
  • group homes
  • community agencies
  • hospitals
  • schools
  • day care centres (children or adults)
  • home care agencies
  • hospices
  • home care agencie

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 (OSSD) or equivalent
  • If you are 19 years or older and do not have an OSSD or equivalent, a minimum passing score of 14 on the Wonderlic SLE entrance test
  • Good oral and written English skills (student must pass a literacy test)
  • Medical Certificate (free of communicable disease with up-to-date immunization status)
  • Negative Police Check (Vulnerable persons) Canada wide
  • Admissions interview to determine suitability for the program
    Note: Although not an admission requirement, Hepatitis B immunization is strongly recommended, since it is required by many employers.
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