Learning never ends in the life of a PSW. We learn as a student in our classrooms with our instructors and mentors. We also learn while at our field placement putting all our book learning to good use.
Once we enter the work force, we keep on learning with a specific end goal to take care of our clients.
Every job has a learning curve and that of a PSW is no different.
When in the field, you will pick up on some things that you wouldn’t have thought otherwise about:
- Your health is just as important as your resident’s,
- Management really has no clue what goes on when on the floor,
- Humor is a necessity, and
- Please please don’t take everything so personally.
Your studies are important, but so are these on the job lessons.
MANAGEMENT HAS NO IDEA!
They hire you.
They read your resume.
But does upper management really have any idea regarding what goes on when a PSW is at work?
It is the management who decides how many incontinence products to order, the allocation, how many clothes and towels are to be put on the floor, not the PSW, the person who uses the products for their residents.
Management seems to forget that even though the residents are in a nursing home, they are still people.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
A lot of the time, you’re not paid for your break either.
Is it fair? Indeed not. And yet we do the job anyway because we often don’t have the choice.
Keep your health in check.
You know your body better than anyone, your health is a key component to making sure you have a job to go to.
HUMOR CAN BE YOUR GREATEST ASSET
Laugh for the sake of your job!
At times, humor can be used to diffuse a difficult situation with residents who have a tendency to resist care. It can also be used with a co-worker who seems to be having a difficult day.
A team who works together must also laugh together.
DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
This goes hand in hand with humor.
Empathize. Don’t get angry.
This also goes for management. Yes, they have the power but don’t let someone’s ego get the better of you. Stand up for yourself – in a polite and professional manner – and do your job. Smile and walk on. You can do this.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TIME MANAGEMENT
You wouldn’t believe how quickly an 8-hour shift can just pass you by. Things can happen during your shift that we as PSWs have no control over.
Let your co-workers know when you intend to take your break so that they know to check up on your residents for you.
A perfect shift will never happen. Something almost always comes up.
It’s ok. It’s a part of the job.
BECOME MORE COMPASSIONATE AND CARING
In theory, you should have these qualities already, or working as a PSW would be extremely difficult.
You may be amazed though to find just how caring and compassionate the human soul can be to another in one’s time of need. It can be difficult at times, especially when you have a difficult resident. Somehow this only makes you care more.
GO WITH THE FLOW
This may be some of the best advice I can give you when dealing with a resident who has severe dementia:
DO NOT under any circumstances argue with them.
If you try to argue and say something along the lines of “No, we’re in Toronto, you’re wrong” don’t be surprised if you get called something mean.
Go with the flow, it’s a lot easier.
You cannot deal logically with an illogical illness. Remember that.
NEVER STOP LEARNING
Who says the learning has to stop once you enter the work force?
Your mind must be open at all times to opportunities and lessons.
Being a Personal Support Worker is no easy job, but it’s truly one of the most
fulfilling jobs! And in order for that to happen we have created a specialized program
to find the best fulfilling jobs in Toronto & the GTA for our graduates.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Personal Support Worker, please follow
the link and fill out the form and we’ll schedule a time to come in for a coffee / tea
/ water and chat.
Osilla Institute’s biggest difference is that we are Toronto’s Private Career College
that only specializes in the PSW career, and that is also why we know all parts of the career
having had this focus for 30+ years.