Personal Support Worker 101 - PSW Job Responsibilities, Job Opportunities and Salary

Personal Support Worker (PSW) 101: Funding Options, Responsibilities, Job Opportunities, and Salary

If there’s anything hotter than the summer in Canada, it’s the demand for Personal Support Workers (PSWs). Due to the global pandemic, healthcare workers are in demand, now more than ever. PSW offers a stable career path and the satisfaction of making a difference in society. 

Here’s all you need to know about the Personal Support Worker Program (PSW).

We’ll be covering the following and more:

  1. What is PSW? And what are their job responsibilities?
  2. What are some of the funding options available?
  3. What kind of job opportunities are available for PSWs?
  4. How much do PSWs make in Canada?

Let’s begin.

What is a Personal Support Worker?

Personal Support Workers are unregulated healthcare providers. That means there is no governing body that sets standards for the skills and knowledge required to practice in this profession. This results in the skills, accreditation and supervision being variable throughout Canada.

What are some of the job titles PSWs can have?

According to the National Occupational Classification (NOC), Personal Support Workers can work under the following titles:

  1. Health Care Aide
  2. Patient Care Aide
  3. Resident Care Aide
  4. Nursing Attendant

or a

  1. Hospital Attendant

These titles vary depending on the healthcare facility or home care the PSW is providing.

Personal Support Worker (PSW) 101_ Funding Options, Responsibilities, Job Opportunities, and Salary

Why are PSWs now in demand more than ever?

Ever since the pandemic plagued the world, it brought to our attention to the realities of an essential industry that has to be well funded and equipped to be able to deal with different consequences. In addition to that, the population of people 65 years and above has increased over time. With family members working outside the house, it has become a challenge for family members to fulfill the needs and care of their elderly or ill family members. This is where PSWs come to the rescue. Offering people a sense of relief that their family members are being taken care of in their absence.

What are some of the personal attributes that help PSWs get a good job?

  1. Ability to communicate clearly
  2. Being Respectful
  3. Being Caring
  4. Having Patience
  5. Being Optimistic
  6. Having Confidence
  7. Flexibility
  8. Reliability

What will you learn in the Personal Support Worker program?

The training you get as a part of your program may vary depending on the college and location. However, here are some of the things you can expect to be a part of your curriculum:

  1. Assisting with personal hygiene
  2. Caregiver relief
  3. Dealing with patients with cognitive impairment and mental health challenges
  4. How to provide optimal support
  5. Recognizing ongoing medical conditions
  6. Household management
Personal Support Worker (PSW) 101_ Funding Options, Responsibilities, Job Opportunities, and Salary

What are the funding options available?

The government of Ontario is taking some serious measures to address the lack of PSWs in the healthcare industry.  Through the new PSW challenge fund, the government of Ontario is offering up to $13,690 in funding which basically makes the whole program free of cost.

You may be eligible to receive up to $7500 to cover the tuition cost, books, and other mandatory fees, as well as a stipend of $5,000+ for a clinical work placement.

The PSW challenge fund is only available to OSAP-eligible students.

To be eligible for financial support, students must start their PSW training at a participating career college between June 1 and September 30, 2022.

What kind of job opportunities are available for Personal Support Workers?

The government of Canada is aiming to train 4,000 personal support worker interns. That should give you an idea that this is a stable industry to work in.

“The Government recognizes the incredible work of our personal support workers across the country. They are taking care of our loved ones in a time of great uncertainty. This project offers a way to get more workers trained quickly in order to meet Canada’s increasing long-term care and home-care needs. As we look to make historic investments in training, we need to be innovative in our approach and provide training opportunities that offer clear career paths.”

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the critical role that personal care providers play on the front lines of our health care system. Unfortunately, it has also revealed some gaps and critical labour shortages, showing an urgent need for accelerated and flexible training options. With the support of Employment and Social Development Canada, colleges and institutes across Canada are joining forces to design and offer a rapid-response training program and subsidized work placement that will address the short-term labour shortage and provide students with clear pathways to full certification in their provinces and territories. This collaborative response to the crisis underscores the commitment of the college and institute system to meeting the training needs of learners and communities.”

Denise Amyot, President and Chief Executive Officer, Colleges and Institutes Canada

How much do Personal Support Workers make in salary?

On average PSWs in Canada can earn starting at $20 – 27/hr plus a premium of:

  • $3 for PSWs and DSWs in long-term care (LTC) and community care
  • $2 for PSWs in public hospitals.

Final Thoughts

We hope the above mentioned information helps you make a better and informed decision. With EdKosmos, now you can now compare the PSW program offered at different locations and colleges across Canada. Check your OSAP eligibility, along with other funding options such as Second Career that may be available for you. Need help deciding? Our FREE unbiased guidance will help and guide you through finding the best study option.  

Check out the Program Navigator now!

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