Personal Support Worker

Ontario College Certificate | Code: 1165

Please note:

Courses take place Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with the exception of practicums.
Program start dates include fall and winter semesters. Availability is based on full-time enrolment as part-time students take courses with full-time PSW students.

About the program

Make a difference for people with supportive care needs. Choose a career as a Personal Support Worker.

This program will prepare you to provide supportive care to individuals and families in a variety of settings, such as long-term care facilities and community home care. Students will be provided with the knowledge and skills to assist clients of all ages with the activities of daily living, including personal care, home management and nutrition and family responsibilities.

As with other Health Sciences programs, students are taught theory in a classroom setting and will be required to apply the theory to lab and clinical experiences in institutional and in home care settings.
Note: Admission to the program is required prior to registration for courses.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or 19 years of age or older
  • Grade 12 compulsory English, C or U, or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1270)
  • For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading

Note re: admission requirements

  • English testing may be required.

Admission procedures

  • Submit a completed Conestoga College Program Application Form.
  • Attach proof of Admission Requirements.
  • Final selection is made following an assessment of the admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Practicum health and/or safety requirements must be completed in order for students to attend the practicum experience. This placement is mandatory for the completion of the program. Students who do not attend field/clinical placement will not be promoted to the next semester, which will ultimately result in non-completion of the program.
    To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information which will be provided by the College:
    • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, varicella, polio and hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October - March).
  • a clear (no criminal offences) Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS), completed annually
  • completed immunization records, which are to be maintained throughout the program
  • Standard First Aid and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) /AED (Automated External Defibrillator) BLS (Basic Life Support) certification; CPR is to be updated annually
  • completed mask fit testing for infection control and for self-contained breathing apparatus as required
  • Criminal Screening: To be eligible for practicum, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which they have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical and will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability. Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada:
    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/
    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/
  • Travel within the program: Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from learning settings external to the College and for covering any costs incurred.
  • Applicants must have a strong desire to work with older adults and/or clients with disabilities and/or long-term health problems.
  • Applicants are advised that good oral and written communication skills are essential for the program.
  • Applicants are advised that accessibility to a car is required for clinical placements in the home care setting.
  • Applicants are advised that a latex-free environment in the College or clinical setting is not guaranteed.
  • Attendance in classroom skills lab and clinical experiences is essential.
  • Criminal Screening: To be eligible for practicum, you must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which you have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical and will jeopardize your progress in the program.
  • Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request you to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date.
  • Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the Program Chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
  • Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada:

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-38.8/

Graduate opportunities

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home

Program outcomes

  • Recognize the role of the Personal Support Worker and participate as a member of a interprofessional team.
  • Identify and practice legal, ethical and moral responsibilities relevant to the Personal Support Worker role.
  • Provide client-centered and client-directed care under the supervision of the employer, client, family or significant care-giver, by following established care plans, policies and procedures in institutional and community settings.
  • Assist the client with routine activities of daily living, personal care, nutrition and home management services in accordance with the client's preferences.
  • Recognize and respond to the physical, cognitive, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural needs of the clients of all ages across the lifespan with an emphasis on Gerontology.
  • Recognize and apply the concepts of health promotion, independence vs dependence, maintenance and rehabilitation.
  • Promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, self and others.
  • Identify and respond to abuse as it applies to children, spouses/partners, older adults, individuals with disabilities, care-givers, including self and recipients of care.
  • Assist family members to develop and use parenting skills.
  • Provide assistance with non parenteral medications in keeping with the directions stated on the client's care plan under the direction and monitoring of a health care professional.
  • Administer ear/eye drops/ointments, suppositories, enemas and prescription creams/ointments; in keeping with the directions stated on the client's care plan under the direction and monitoring of a health care professional.
  • Support and assist the palliative care client.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately with clients, care-givers and other interprofessional team members using a variety of oral, written, nonverbal and electronic communication techniques.
  • Use effective critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making appropriately in providing supportive care to clients.
  • Identify, collect, report and record relevant observations in an ongoing and timely manner.
  • Use effective time management skills to organize and prioritize supportive care for individual clients and for multi-client groups.
  • Identify stress and implement stress management techniques.
  • Reinforce client teaching in accordance with the established client care plan.
  • Identify role-related and/or personal limitations that require additional professional development and utilize opportunities to further own education.

Program related resources

Program contact

Continuing Education
Upcoming Registrations

Mark your calendars for our upcoming registration dates so you can plan your future.

Winter Registration: November 4, 2019
Spring Registration: February 3, 2020