The Personal Support Worker (PSW) certificate program provides graduates with an entryway into the growing Canadian healthcare industry which is experiencing unprecedented government investment, including previously announced a temporary wage increase and a $5,000 Return of Service incentive for PSWs that commit to 6 months in a Long Term Care facility or In-Home Care and Community Care agency.
As a PSW, there is flexibility when it comes to choosing your path in the industry. Although a majority of these professionals work for private and not-for-profit home care agencies, others are employed by nursing homes and hospitals. There is also the option to be your own boss and work self-employed.
Employers Who Have Hired triOS Grads
Paramed Home Health Care
Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario
Home Instead Senior Care
Revera Home Health
Chartwell Retirement Residence
Canadian Red Cross
*Note that some career options may require advanced degrees, further training or experience.
*Employment Rate based on 2019 contactable triOS graduates employed in a related field.
NOC Code: 4412, 3413 - **Wage data based on NOC Code 3413 and rounded down to the nearest dollar. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in May, 2021.
Do you want to start your career in the growing healthcare industry? Are you passionate about helping people care for their emotional and physical well-being? If so, the Personal Support Worker program at triOS College will set you up for a successful future.
A Personal Support Worker (PSW) provides assistance in routine living activities such as: mobility, personal care and hygiene, ongoing medical conditions, and the management of household activities. As a trained PSW, you may look after patients in a home, hospital, and/or long-term care facility.
The Personal Support Worker program delivers strong administrative and clinical skills and knowledge, the skills necessary to implement theories on topics such as cognitive and mental health issues and brain injuries, and the know-how to assist with patients’ medications. The completion of the in-class courses is followed by a 12-week clinical placement where you’ll get hands-on experience in the field.
Students enrolled in this program will receive:
Clinical work placement in a community and long-term care facility.
National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) curriculum that maps to the Ontario provincial-approved training standard.
Classrooms that simulate real-world healthcare setting, including hospital beds, wheelchairs and other required equipment.
Software subscriptions for Microsoft Office and Windows included in the tuition fee.
CPR (HCP–Healthcare Provider Level / BLS-Basic Life Support)/First Aid
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 the knowledge in their daily work as a Personal Support Worker (PSW)/Home Support Worker (HSW). The following body systems will be covered in the module: the muscular-skeletal, digestive, urinary, integumentary, reproductive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, and endocrine. This module will also address the common disorders and age-related changes for each body system.
Care Planning, Restorative Care, Electronic Documentation, Working in the Community
Support of various types is the main function of the PSW/HSW. Yet, support is more than providing help. It relies on a number of factors not the least of which are skill and sensitivity. This module builds on the materials presented in the introductory module, PSW/HSW fundamentals. It identifies the support to be provided, the significance of the support to the client and of the need for the support. Supporting the client to regain routine abilities by relearning and issues of 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 worker, care givers and professionals. As members of the support team, PSWs/HSWs will learn about implementing parts of the care plan and communicating information accurately and without judgement. These activities are conducted in accordance with employer guidelines [agency or client]. Students will also be introduced to working in a community health care environment, providing support to patients and families in communities including individual homes, Retirement Homes, Long Term Care Facilities, Acute Care settings and Acquired Brain Injury Programs.
Our Career Management program introduces students to the strategies and components of an effective job search, including self-marketing and awareness, skills inventory, job search tools and the job market. The Career Management course is delivered by our on-campus Career Services Team who are there throughout the job search to assist and mentor students towards achieving their ultimate goal of employment in their field of study.
Our Team of Career Services Professionals maintain relationships in their communities with key employers and organizations that recognize the value triOS graduates have to offer. The skills learned throughout Career Management at triOS will continue to serve students in their job search as they navigate their new careers.
Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries
Personal Support Workers/Home Support Workers recognize that behaviors or changes in behavior can be related to illness or other conditions such as cognitive impairment, brain injuries, substance abuse, or mental illness. They use approaches and techniques to assist clients with these 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 behavior. 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.
CPR and First Aid
Upon successful completion of this course, students will achieve the Standard Level First Aid and Healthcare Provider (BLS-Basic Life Support) Level CPR.
Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) is a multi-disciplinary workshop designed for everyone who interacts with older adults in the workplace. Participants are guided to fully understand responsive behaviours in order to be able to respond effectively and appropriately in a workplace setting.
Assisting the Dying Person
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 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.
This module introduces students to the 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 and the importance of the support team in providing assistance.
Activities will be discussed that require additional training. It will be discussed whose responsibility it is for providing the training and transferability of the additional skills.
Assisting with Medications + IM/SC
The PSW's 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 rules of administration and directions for use of these meds.
Students will identify purposes of medications, 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 labels and demonstrate assistance with oral/topical, 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 a problem with medications will be discussed.
PSW’s are able to provide specific assistance with medications to the client in keeping with the directions stated in the 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 a case by case instruction by the appropriate person and cannot be generalized among clients or between support workers.
Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin Administration Workshop is a Practical, hands-on training designed to prepare students with a background in the health care profession to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injection procedures. Participants are guided to fully understand Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injections and the importance of administration, abbreviations related to medication and prescriptions, accurately read prescriptions and calculate medication dosage, understand injection landmarks, safe medication preparation, pain management techniques, risk and safety factors associated with Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injections. Participants will be trained by a Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse.
Assisting with Personal Hygiene
PSWs/HSWs must have the knowledge skill, sensitivity to provide appropriate assistance to another person since significant number of clients for whom they provide service have disabilities that affect their ability to look after their personal hygiene. The PSW/HSW 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 confused patient, frailness, dignity levels of independence will be considered. Personal hygiene involves personal safety, self-esteem and dignity considerations. Knowledge about the structure, function, aging changes, and common conditions of the skin are reinforced. 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.
Abuse and Neglect
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. PSWs/HSWs 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 policies and provisions of the service contract or support plan. They also recognize that the PSW/HSW may also be the focus of abuse.
Assisting the Family, Growth and Development
This module builds on the foundation for students to understand family characteristics, in terms of structure and functions, roles, lifestyles and relationships. The influence of cultural values, practices, religious beliefs as well as the effects of illness, stress, disability, or family relationships will be emphasized as central to the PSW ability to provide effective support. It also explores the role of the PSW in providing respite and assistance to families and their children including those with special needs. Observation of some selected commonly occurring conditions related to family function and life cycle events are included. A central focus is 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 caregiving and rest, skills related to infant and child care as well as assisting a child with special needs are addressed. The stages of growth and development throughout the lifecycle are discussed.
This module provides an overview of the Personal Support Worker (PSW)/Home Support Worker (HSW) 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/HSWs, including the variety of settings, work relationships, stress and time management, and applicable legislation. Consequences of exceeding the scope of the PSW/HSW role will also be covered. This module will also introduce students to interpersonal skills and communications, including conflict resolution and problem solving.
Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration
In this module the students will learn to assist clients with their nutritional needs, household activities and household management according to client preferences, comfort, safety, within employer guidelines. Nutritional needs including planned balanced nutrition, menus, preparation of 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.
Safety and Mobility
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/Home Support Worker is assisting the consumer/client with routine activities of living. It is essential that the PSW/HSW provide assistance in a manner that is effective, safe, and provides for client comfort. As part of this, the PSW/HSW 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.
Student Success Strategies
This course stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note- and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
– High school graduation diploma, or Mature Student Status (for more information please refer to the Program Outline at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant)
– Clear Police Check including a Vulnerable Sector check
– Up-to-date medical certificate indicating current immunization and free from communicable diseases
– Completion of a Technical Literacy Examination to determine fluency in English. English Language Proficiency must be demonstrated through one of the following options:
1. NACC Technical Literacy Exam (passing score of 18)
2. IELTS – International English Language Testing
3. TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Internet based test (iBT)
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Going into the program, I really didn’t have any expectations. I had no idea that we would be sitting in essentially a virtual classroom. I didn’t know that we would have an actual live teacher. I am grateful that they decided to have an actual teacher. It made my experience much more like a classroom than an individual isolated learning experience
The Personal Support Worker program helped equip me for a successful career in my field. The combination of in-class practice and theory helped me to develop a deep understanding of not only how to be a PSW, but a great PSW. I am thankful that trios college has a comfortable, engaging, accepting, patient, and supportive environment and staff.