Personal support workers (PSWs) provide daily assistance to seniors, people with disabilities, and others in need of care and support with their activities of daily living. PSWs work in various settings such as long-term care facilities, retirement homes, hospitals, and private homes. The role of a PSW is demanding but also rewarding as it helps improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable. If you’re interested in the PSW program in Toronto, there are a few main requirements you need to fulfill:
Minimum PSW Program Requirements
Most PSW programs in Toronto are offered through Ontario colleges. You typically need an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSD) or equivalents to qualify for admission. PSW programs are usually completed within 1-2 academic years and include a combination of coursework and practical training through placements. Some key courses cover topics like basic medical terminology, human anatomy, nutrition, infection control, mental health, and conflict resolution.
Once you complete an accredited PSW program, you need to register with the Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario (PSWRO). This involves submitting an application form, applicable fees, a criminal record check, and proof of your PSW education. Upon approval by the PSWRO, you are issued a license that must be renewed every 3 years through continuing education.
Most employers prefer applicants who have already completed clinical placements or have some hands-on PSW experience. Placements integrated into your college PSW program can fulfill this requirement. Some new PSWs also start working part-time while completing their studies.
Some PSW jobs may ask for first aid/CPR certification, a driver’s license, the ability to handle aggressive behaviours, or other specific qualifications depending on the healthcare setting and patient population. Be prepared to acquire any other credentials wanted by your potential employer.
PSWs are in high demand in Toronto due to our aging population. Meeting licensing and training requirements can lead to stable and exciting job opportunities with competitive compensation and benefits, allowing you to make a significant difference in people’s lives.