Personal Support Worker

Program: PSWR
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time + Part-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Clinical Placements
Length: 2 Semesters
Duration: 1 Year
Effective: Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Summer 2024
Location: Barrie (Fall, Winter, Summer), Muskoka (Fall), Orangeville (Fall), Owen Sound (Fall, Summer), South Georgian Bay (Winter, Summer)

Description

The Personal Support Worker (PSW) program is a two semester Ontario College Certificate that provides you with the knowledge and practical skills to offer safe, supportive care to clients in settings such as private homes, long term care and acute care facilities. As a member of an interprofessional health care team, PSWs assist with daily living and the provision of person-centred care to individuals with a range of health conditions and/or individuals experiencing responsive behaviours. Through theory and hands-on lab classes, you learn how to provide a comfortable, safe environment for clients while assisting with personal care and home management. Two clinical placements in long term care and other healthcare settings, provide training in the delivery and documentation of care, and expand your ability to provide holistic, compassionate care throughout the lifespan to clients and their families.

Career Opportunities

Graduates provide and facilitate clearly identified personal care and routine activities of daily living in order to assist clients in being as healthy and as independent as possible. PSW graduates may find employment in retirement homes, long term care facilities, homes for the aged, various community agencies (private and public), acute care facilities, as well as in independent practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. work within the personal support worker role in various care settings in      accordance with all applicable legislation, standards, employer job descriptions, policies, procedures and guidelines;
  2. practice professionally, and be accountable for one's own actions by applying problem-solving, self-awareness, time management and critical thinking to the provision of care as a personal support worker, whether working independently or as a member of a team;
  3. practice as an engaged member of the interprofessional team to maintain collaborative working relationships for the provision of supportive, safe, responsive and competent client-centred care within care settings;
  4. provide person-centred care, based on ethical principles, sensitive to diverse personal and family values, beliefs, cultural practices and other needs, which follows the plan of care;
  5. establish and maintain therapeutic relationships with clients and their families using effective communication skills to build a genuine, trusting, and respectful partnership, in accordance with professional boundaries, employer policies, confidentiality, and privacy legislation;
  6. identify relevant client information within the roles and responsibilities of the personal support worker using observation, critical thinking, and effective communication skills to report and document findings;
  7. create, promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, self and others by implementing current infection prevention and control measures, emergency and first aid procedures, and best practices in pandemic planning that are in keeping with the plan of care, all applicable legislation, and employer policies and procedures;
  8. assist clients across the lifespan with activities of daily living by applying fundamental knowledge of growth and development, psychological concepts, common alterations in functioning, health promotion, disease prevention, rehabilitation and restorative care, and holistic health care;
  9. assist the client with medication following the client's plan of care, and if a delegated act, under the supervision of a regulated health professional or done by exception under the most accountable person and in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer policies;
  10. assist with household management services and instrumental activities of daily living in accordance with the plan of care and considering the preferences, comfort, safety and autonomy of clients, families and significant others;
  11. assist and support clients who are caregivers, considering individual and family choices, professional boundaries and the direction of the plan of care;
  12. identify, respond to and report potential, alleged, suspected or witnessed situations of abuse, and/or neglect, as required by all applicable legislation, including the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, and as required within the employers' job description for the personal support workers;
  13. assist with the provision of holistic health care and advocacy for culturally safe and spiritually sensitive palliative and end-of-life care to clients and to their families and significant others from diagnosis through to death and bereavement, and in accordance with clients’ choices and the plan of care;
  14. provide client-centred and client-directed care to individuals experiencing various mental health illness and challenges, cognitive and intellectual impairments, and/or responsive behaviours by using supportive approaches and evidence-based practices to promote positive and safe behaviours in clients.

Program Progression 

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake - Barrie, Muskoka, Orangeville, Owen Sound

  • Sem 1: Fall 2023
  • Sem 2: Winter 2024

Winter Intake - Barrie, South Georgian Bay

  • Sem 1: Winter 2024
  • Sem 2: Summer 2024

Summer Intake - Barrie, Owen Sound, South Georgian Bay

  • Sem 1: Summer 2024
  • Sem 2: Fall 2024

Articulation

A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at https://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:
www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Additional Information

Clinical Placement Requirements:

In order to provide quality practicum placements, students will be placed in a variety of agencies in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from all clinical placements. Student practicum placements will involve working the same shifts as the PSWs in the practicum agency. For example, day shifts may start as early as 6:00 a.m. and evening shifts may finish at 11:00 p.m.

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Completion and submission of this record is required during registration in order to ensure your placement in clinical placement facilities.
To be eligible for all practicum placements, students must have:

  • a completed Clinical Preparedness Permit - current (within 1 year) Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid on admission to the program. Level HCP CPR must be renewed annually while in the program; 
  • a current police check including a vulnerable sector screen (see Criminal Reference Check above);
  • a record of mask fit test (will be done at the college in semester one). Mask fit testing must be renewed every 2 years.

Graduation Requirements

7 Program Courses
2 Professional Practice Courses
1 Communications Course
1 General Education Course

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking 

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses
PSWR 1035 Professional Foundations 42
PSWR 1036 PSW Laboratory Skills 84
PSWR 1037 PSW Community Care 28
PSWR 1038 Palliative Care 28
PSWR 1043 Human Structure and Function 42
Communications Course
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
 Hours308
Semester 2
Program Courses
PSWR 1039 Health Challenges and Continuing Care 42
PSWR 1040 Mental Health Challenges 28
Professional Practice Courses
PSWR 1041 PSW Professional Practice 1 112
PSWR 1042 PSW Professional Practice 2 224
 Hours406
 Total Hours714

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of one year (as stated above) may take a maximum of two years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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