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2017-07-12 by Mark Harrington

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Once you have completed your personal support worker training and find it’s time to go out and get a job that can put what you learned in psw courses to good use, you’ll need a solid game plan. Here are some suggestions to get you started on this rewarding career path:

Researching Potential Employers

The first thing you should do is determine whether you are primarily looking for work in a healthcare institution such as a hospital or a long-term care facility or would rather work in private residences, either through a placement agency or by getting hired directly by clients. It’s a good idea to focus on the type of work you want but keep all options open in your search.

Resources for personal support worker course graduates looking for work include:

  • This site provides, among other resources, a listing of hospitals in Ontario hiring PSWs.
  • Job Search Websites: It’s a good idea to check out sites like and for postings and when searching for individual clients. Classifieds sites like Kijiji should also not be ignored.

Preparing for the Interview

When you’ve landed an interview, it’s important that you go into it prepared. Some good tips for prospective personal support workers to remember are:

  • Research your potential employer
  • Be able to list and know your relevant skills
  • Be able to explain how your education has prepared you for this work
  • Do a mock interview
  • Dress professionally and leave early

Possible Interview Questions

Interviewing for a position as a PSW is generally a very in-depth process, which makes sense considering the highly personal nature of the work. Potential employers want to be sure that they’re hiring the right person for the job. Here are some questions you may hear at a PSW job interview:

  • If a resident/your patient falls, what will you do? In the case of an institution, it is best to familiarize yourself with their safety protocols. One possible good responses could be “stay with the patient and call for help, then help transfer them to a bed or chair safely.”
  • How do you care for a palliative patient? Your response should mention that you would care for them with the upmost dignity and respect, in accordance with their religious practises, treating them with warmth and empathy while respecting their privacy.
  • What are a resident’s rights? There are over 25 rights people who live in Ontario long-term care facilities have legally. These include the right to be protected from abuse and neglect, have a safe and clean home and be cared for in a manner consistent with their beliefs. It is important to know all the rights before going to a job interview in a long-term care facility.

Where would you prefer to work as a PSW, and what steps will you take to get there?

Assistance Strategies as a Personal Support Worker

2014-09-17 by Mark Harrington

assistance psw

If you are someone who finds fulfillment in helping other people daily, like a community services worker, then perhaps personal support worker is a career path you would consider. Whereas a community services worker is more involved in the social wellbeing of citizens through work in women’s shelters and community centres, a personal support worker helps individuals with their long-term healthcare.

To get started in this career, you must obtain certification from a personal support worker college. As a support worker you may be placed in a retirement home, private home or clinical care setting in order to assist a medically stable patient with their domestic life. A personal support worker will perform everyday duties which include bedside care, movement aid, personal hygiene, bathing and dressing/undressing. Depending on the immobility level of the patient, personal support workers may plan and cook meals according to special diets, and administer feeding when necessary. Doing laundry, household chores and performing routine medical duties may all be responsibilities of the job as well.

elderly senior being brought meal by carer or nurse

There are certain traits which make a good personal support worker. Here are some of the most important:


Many of your patients will be either immobile or struggling with their mobility. Sometimes simple tasks can feel like climbing a mountain to them. Part of a personal support worker’s job is not just to perform these tasks for the patient, but encourage them to do their best as well. The ability to perform tasks themselves will allow patients to retain some independence and give them confidence!


Sometimes your patient will be nearing the end of their life and is perhaps in some discomfort or pain. It is important that a personal support worker can be kind and compassionate towards the patient and their family at these times. You may work in collaboration with professionals with physiotherapist assistant training from time to time to help patients progress in their convalescence.

Interpersonal Skills

While you are there to care for the patient, you will sometimes be in their home or personal space for several hours a day. You are therefore also there as a compatriot and professional friend. Knowing how to communicate with different types of people is a critical skill for personal support workers.

Overall, there is an increasing need for personal support workers in a country with an aging population. If you’d like the ability to choose your own schedule, help others and work in healthcare, then consider becoming a personal support worker!


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