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Using Your Personal Support Worker Training to Keep Seniors Safe During Flu Season

2018-03-21 by Mark Harrington

No one wants to get the flu. This unpleasant illness comes once a year around mid-fall and hangs in the air until about mid-spring. The current flu season is not quite done yet, which means the nasty bug can still be caught. As such, various precautions should still be followed in order to avoid getting the flu. This is especially important for seniors.

Human defenses weaken with age, so seniors are an at-risk group for getting the flu. If infected, they produce less antibodies or fighting agents. Because of this, seniors can have a harder time fighting off the virus, and are more likely to develop serious health complications like pneumonia. That’s why it’s paramount to do your best as a personal support worker to keep your clients safe during flu season. To find out how to do it, keep reading.

Get Your Flu Shot to Protect Your Clients From Harm

One of the best ways that seniors can prepare for flu season is to get their flu shot. However, it’s also important for professionals who work closely with seniors to get their flu shot as well. That includes PSWs, who can help to protect their clients by ensuring that they don’t become sick and spread the virus.

Since the flu virus changes a bit each year, so does the flu shot, which is why it should be taken annually. Optimally, everyone should get their flu shot by the end of October, but it’s possible to get it anytime before the flu season ends, even in spring. Remember, though, that it takes about two weeks for the immunity created by the flu shot to set in, so the sooner the better.

Use Your Personal Support Worker Training to Help Your Clients Maintain Good Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene and good health habits are important to preventing the spread of the flu virus. For professionals with personal support worker training this includes washing hands regularly with antibacterial soap and warm water. Just a little rinse isn’t enough, though. Hands should always be scrubbed for at least 15-20 seconds to ensure all germs are eliminated.

Germs can collect on the hands from surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, and countertops, so it’s also important to ensure all these are frequently cleaned as well. This will minimize the chances of germs surviving on these surfaces and spreading to others.

You can also instruct your clients to avoid touching their mouth, nose, and eyes. Touching any of these areas can spread germs to the respiratory system, where they can more easily attack the body.

Hydration, Nutrition, and Rest All Help Maintain a Healthy Immune System

Making sure your clients are properly looking after their immune systems by staying well hydrated, rested, and more is essential for protecting them from the flu.

Staying on top of hydration is especially important. Seniors can have a reduced sensation of thirst, which may lead to them forgetting to consume their recommended daily fluid intake. When working with clients after your PSW course, be sure to check that they are drinking enough water or other decaffeinated fluids. They can also get fluids from foods that have a high water content, such as fresh fruit. These are also a great source of nutrients as well!

In addition to staying hydrated, a proper diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help clients stay healthy and better able to ward off the flu. Vitamin C and other antioxidants can be especially beneficial. These can be found in many different foods, including leafy greens and several different types of fruit. Blueberries and raspberries, for example, are excellent sources of both. Of course, getting quality sleep, avoiding overexertion, and resting when tired will also help you clients stay protected against the flu.

Make sure your clients get plenty of fluids and nutrients

Are you looking to enroll in a personal support worker course?

Contact the National Academy of Health and Business to learn about our PSW program!


2017-07-12 by Mark Harrington

Best Colleges in Ontario

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?

A History of CPR for Students in Healthcare Training

2017-02-15 by upendra

Are you interested in completing a personal support worker certificate

Today, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is taught in healthcare programs around the globe. It’s seen as an effective means to help a person’s body circulate oxygenated blood until the heart can be restarted, and it has proved to be extremely effective. In 2010, it was estimated by Dr. James Jude—one of the creators of CPR—that over two million lives have been saved using this technique.

In the 1800s there seemed to be limited hope amongst medical professionals that an effective method for keeping the body alive during cardiac arrest was possible. A physician at the time even declared “We are powerless against paralysis of the circulation”. However, it wasn’t long after that declaration that the invention of modern day CPR began to unfold.

Are you interested in beginning healthcare courses? Read on to learn more about the history of CPR.

The Need for a Procedure like CPR Was Formally Recognized in the 1700s

Amsterdam is a city famous for its beautiful canal waterways. In the eighteenth century the canals were the main mode of transportation for those living in the city, and as an unfortunate result, hundreds of drownings occurred every year. To help combat this problem, a group of elite individuals came together to form the Society for Recovery of Drowned Persons in an effort to develop a standard for treating people after they had been pulled from the water.

The society came up with seven recommendations that were meant to stimulate the body’s functions. While students in a PSW course will definitely not use all of the steps today, some of them are reminiscent of modern day CPR.

The first four techniques recommend by the society, warming the person, repositioning the head to evacuate water from their body, putting pressure on the abdomen, and breathing into the person’s mouth, are used in different variations today. However, outlandish recommendations like bloodletting and tickling the person’s throat are no longer in use.

The Concept of CPR Was Created in 1960 and Used by Those with Healthcare Training

After the recommendations made by the society in Amsterdam, there weren’t many major developments in resuscitation for quite a while. However, at the turn of the twentieth century everything started to change.

In 1904 the first described chest compressions were recorded. But it wasn’t until 1958 when the discovery of chest compressions and their effectiveness was formalized by William Bennett Kouwenhoven, Guy Knickerbocker, and James Jude at John Hopkins University. The discovery happened by accident while they were performing defibrillation on dogs and noticed that when pressure was applied forcefully to a dog’s chest it created a pulse. Realizing what they had discovered, the three started conducting a study.

By 1960, they reported that out of 20 patients who underwent chest compressions while in cardiac arrest, 14 survived. In a meeting with the Maryland Medical Society in 1960, the researchers proposed the new life-saving technique. Peter Safer, an anesthesiologist who separately discovered the efficacy of breathing for a patient in 1956, specified in the meeting that the two techniques (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions) would be most effective at saving lives when used together. Thus CPR, as students in healthcare training know it, was born.

CPR is now taught across the world

CPR is now taught across the world

How CPR Was Adopted Around the World and Used by Pros With Healthcare Training

To bring life-saving CPR to the world, Jude, Knickerbocker, and Safar all set out on a tour around the globe to speak about the topic. In 1962, a short film called the “Pulse of Life” was created describing the procedure. The video has been used in thousands of classrooms to teach individuals in all types of careers how to perform effective CPR. Finally, in 1963 the American Heart Association formed a CPR committee and CPR was formally recognized as an effective means of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Are you interested in completing a personal support worker certificate?

Contact the National Academy of Health and Business today!


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