PSW Job Description


A personal support worker plays an important part in providing care for many older people. They are known as caregivers who assist people with daily personal care if they’re aging, suffering from an illness and even injury. Personal care workers typically don’t perform their services without working under a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. The job of personal support worker is growing in demand, due to the needs of Canada’s aging population.

Personal care workers are commonly associated with healthcare aides,  since they share many of the same duties. A personal care worker also shares duties with other healthcare professionals like long-term care aides, orderlies, nursing assistants, patient care aides and medical resident care aides.

Most of the previously mentioned job titles share similar job requirements. The job listings for the role of PSW candidates may use vague or generalized terms to describe their corresponding job duties.

Most job listings for personal support workers may include some or all of the following PSW skills and/or duties:

  • Assisting with all activities involved with daily living, including personal care, preparing meals and reinforcing mobility.
  • Sorting and/or bagging soiled linen. Making and changing beds, cleaning and tidying patient and/or resident’s rooms.
  • Providing support regarding patient medications.
  • Acknowledging and reporting changes in a patient’s condition and/or behavior.
  • Offering counseling, when necessary.

Personal support workers who perform their duties at a patient’s home may take care of shopping assistance, light cleaning, laundry and preparing meals. They’re commonly employed at a variety of settings like hospitals, private and/or long term care facilities, group homes and community centers.

People interested in becoming a personal support worker require a certificate obtained from PSW education programs. Sometimes, job postings may not list PSW education programs as a requirement. Most listings, however, do list educational requirements. All personal support workers should have some form of certification before applying for a job posting.

Job recruiters also consider several key PSW skills and traits. The personal attributes and qualities of a PSW applicant are very important when applying for a role. As an example, many employers look for PSW candidates who can communicate, possess dedication and a passion for working to help other people. Many PSWs assume positions as as role models for their patients.

The employers of PSWs typically include hospitals, nursing homes and various heath care service providers. Some personal support workers are self employed and work out of their own practice.