Keys in Professionalism for Personal Support Workers

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  • March 16, 2016

At Osilla Institute Professionalism is non-negotiable. However there is a degree of subjective ideas as to what it is but then there’s the black and white. You need both sides of the coin as professionalism in the workplace is a vital part of doing the best job possible. Personal Support Workers give consideration for patients and clients who may be truly sick or to residents who are helpless.

Professional attitude permits them to keep up the highest quality of care possible. Holding fast to professional guidelines and standards will not only make your jobs easier and more rewarding, it will bring you respect from your co-workers and clients as well.

According to Miranda Ferrier’s presentation on the topic of “Professionalism in the workforce” during the first annual Ontario Personal Support Worker Association (OPSWA) PSW conference at the Mount Sanai Hospital, there are six keys which promote a high level of professionalism in the workplace:

First is, CHARACTER – It is what you do when no one is looking.

A person of true character makes decisions based on what is right and follows through on what they say they will do.

Second is, ATTITUDE – It matters and it changes everything.

A positive attitude helps PSWs connect with your clients and has a constructive outcome on their lives. Keeping a positive attitude includes leaving the outside issues outside and remembering that the people you are working with are not an inconvenience but the very reason for the job.

A positive attitude is reflected in appreciation for oneself,for the clients and for the space itself.

Next is, EXCELLENCE – it involves a number of components such as:

  • Ownership – taking responsibility for the choices you make and the consequences
  • Making the most of every moment – it may be the last time you see that person
  • Learning to do things differently – accommodate clients’ requests when you can
  • Commitment – take positive action and do what needs to be done
  • Learning from your mistakes – failure leads to success
  • Speaking with good purpose – think before you speak
  • Balance – focus on what’s meaningful and important
  • Integrity – matching one’s behavior to one’s values

Another one is, COMPETENCY – it is essential for a PSW to bring the best skills possible to their job.

Ongoing training is a key component of maintaining the competency needed for a PSW to keep their skills at the highest level.

Next is CONDUCT – it involves both inner and outer aspects.

Professional conduct involves the way in which a PSW responds to questions and comments, which should always be clear, accurate and positive. Being able to maintain client confidentiality is a sign of professional conduct.

Next is, Professional Personal Presentation – It goes beyond outward appearance alone. Presenting oneself in a professional manner involves maintaining one’s compassion and remembering the reasons for the job when faced with challenging clients.

Lastly, TEAMWORK – it is an important part of professionalism.

Being a team player allows one to be confident and set clear boundaries with co-workers, managers and clients. Positivity will bring recognition to the entire group. Members should support and encourage each other to be the best they can be.

At Osilla Institute, we always make sure that we have instilled in our students the importance of professionalism. It is essential in providing a healthy relationship between the worker and the client and being able to be commended for giving a great service to everyone we work with. It’s How We Care!

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