The Career Paths Of A Personal Support Worker

December 9th, 2016 / By triOS College

Congratulations on earning your personal support worker degree from triOS! You are now ready to apply that knowledge in a paid, professional position.

Personal Support Workers can provide a wide range of assistance, depending upon their clients’ needs. Here are some possible roles to consider, along with places where you may wish to apply.


female psw working with senior male

Personal Support Workers care for those who are ill, elderly, or need help with daily tasks and ensure their safety, comfort, and well-being.

Senior Care

As we get older, aspects of life that were previously easy can become major challenges. Seniors benefit from the assistance PSWs provide, helping them to be safer and more independent. These are the Activities of Daily Living and typically make up a significant portion of a PSW’s work day.

PSWs can provide in-home assistance as part of an agency helping elderly people still living on their own. Duties often include aiding with housecleaning, the dispensing of medication, and personal hygiene. A single individual can employ a PSW and may ask them to live on the premises, depending upon the extent of the person’s needs. These can include physical and/or intellectual challenges.

Graduates can qualify for private responsibilities as a respite worker. These individuals aid caregivers by assisting them with their duties and filling in while they take breaks away from the home. You may also require CPR and First Aid certificates for such a role.

PSWs can also work as regular staff members in retirement homes, continuing care facilities, and hospitals. Helping people to remain in their homes provides them with a sense of dignity and motivation, and assists the province with the shortage of beds in many facilities. However, most people eventually reach a point in life where such a degree of independence is no longer possible. Thus, it is important to have this alternate form of care available to them.

Additional Hospital Work

Qualified PSWs can also do other things in a hospital setting. A Perioperative Support Assistant helps with surgery patients in several ways, including transferring within the facility, applying certain surgical dressings, and transporting blood products and specimens. This role requires a PSW degree, along with WHIMS and MSDS awareness, and a Basic Life Support certificate.

Addiction and Mental Health

Organizations like the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) also require PSWs to aid in their client services. Some of those duties overlap with senior care, while others may include observing clients; accompanying them offsite for appointments, programs, and transfers; and collecting data for therapeutic use, while maintaining the security and confidentiality of the treatment program.

These are just a few of the possible positions that PSWs can explore. When viewing jobs ads, be sure to consider looking at related fields as not all ads simply state “Personal Support Worker.” Be sure to also read ones addressed to Personal Care Aide, Continuing Care Assistant, Patient Care Assistant, Unregulated Care Provider, and Support Services Attendant. Your diploma makes you a viable candidate for all of them.

Let’s Get Started

Those interested in pursuing this valuable role have two different programs to choose from at triOS. Recognized by the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), our Personal Support Worker program runs 31 weeks, including a 12-week clinical placement. In order to provide the most realistic learning environment, our classrooms stimulate real-world healthcare settings, including hospital beds, wheel chairs, and other required equipment. The Personal Support Worker Bridging Program runs nine weeks, with three weeks of clinical practicum, and offers the same valuable features in a reduced curriculum.


Click to visit the Personal Support Worker Program Page!