Personal Support Worker

Program Title – Personal Support Worker

Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.
NORT-H136–PC Timmins Campus
NORT-H138–KL Kirkland Lake Campus
NORT-H139–HL Haileybury Campus
NORT-H137-JB Moosonee Campus

January 2018 Intake
H137W (JB) Moosonee Campus (Not available)

Program Specific Information and Forms
Below are requirements or forms that have to be completed before the start of the semester or the date specified.
Requirements for Personal Support Worker

Program Description
Personal support workers are unregulated health care providers. They work under the supervision of a regulated health professional, supervisor, or in the supported independent living environment under the direction of the client. They provide clearly identified personal care, routine activities of daily living and home management services, by following care/service plans and established policies and procedures. Personal support workers are responsible for their work to their clients and to their employers. Workers providing long term care and support services form the backbone of both community and facility services. They are often the people with whom clients/consumers have the most contact and with whom they develop close relationships. The attitude and approach of workers and their abilities are critical to the well being, comfort, safety and health of the people they support.

Education to prepare support workers assists them to develop a broad range of abilities beyond dexterity skills, which emphasizes the value of their role and reflects true sensitivity and respect for the individuality of each consumer/client. This program was developed as part of the Ontario provincial government’s plan to reform long term care and support services provided to people living at home and in long term care facilities. The Personal Support Worker Program is a two semester program consisting of theory and clinical practice in both institutional and community settings.

Career Opportunities
Following successful completion of their program, graduates may be employed in a variety of community and institutional agencies. Personal support workers care for clients who are stable and who have clearly identified needs that are not expected to change significantly. They work under supervision and as valuable members of care/service teams; provide personal care and home management services to clients who are experiencing physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural challenges. They are capable of providing organized competent care for individual clients and for their assigned multi-client groups. Personal support workers may also work under the direction of the client.

Contact Information
Shelly Hosman
Tel: 705-235-3211 x7289

Admission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, M, U)

Or equivalent

Or mature student status (an applicant who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program). Mature students must undergo academic testing prior to admission into a program and must demonstrate equivalency with admission English requirements. Contact the Admissions Office at 705-235-7222 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

Important Information
Students who do not comply with the immunization requirements will not be allowed into the practice settings and as such may not be able to complete the Practicum required to graduate from the program. CPR re-certification, criminal reference checks and immunization updates are required annually. To be eligible for participation in clinical training, students must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which that person has not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record will result in inability to participate in clinical practice courses and will prevent the student from graduating. Any costs for these tests/certifications will be the responsibility of the applicant.

Students are responsible for the cost of appropriate uniforms and equipment (e.g. watch, pen, etc.) required for the clinical area as well as transportation to practicum placements. Mask fit testing will be provided by the College prior to clinical practice.

The following physical demands are/will be placed upon the students throughout this program, and are essential to successful completion/clinical/graduation:

Activity Frequency Definition Example
Walking half-day walking up to four hours during an eight hour shift walking on flat areas in building for a distance equal to a city block
Standing quarter – day standing up to two hours during eight hour shift standing to administer medications at a cart/process lab specimens
Sitting minimal sits less than two hours during eight hour shift sitting at desk to document
Bending moderate bending is required on a regular basis changing bed linens; turning and repositioning patients; transferring patients; assisting patient in and out of chair
Lifting heavy normally lifting and/or carrying objects weighing up to 50 lbs two man transfer of resident in and out of bed; lifting linen out of carts, positioning clients for lab processes
Pushing/Pulling repetitive pushing/pulling objects and persons along flat surfaces pushing mechanical lift; pushing resident in wheelchair, pulling carts; pushing/pulling furniture
Use of Equipment moderate operating mechanical aids which replace physical force using mechanical lifts
Hand/Eye coordination average able to perform tasks which require average degree of hand coordination. No vision impairment. reading labels on bottles-labs vials; administering medications; operating mechanical lift; writing reports/documents

Any questions regarding the above requirements may be directed to your health care provider and/or kinesiologist/physiotherapist.

Other Requirements for Admission to Clinical

  • Completed Immunization/Communicable Disease Testing Requirements forms, supplied by the College.
  • Current Basic Cardiac Life Support Certificate (C.P.R. – HCP Level).
  • Standard First Aid Certificate (or equivalent).
  • WHMIS Certificate (may be obtained at a minimal cost through the College).
  • A recent criminal reference/vulnerable sector check – (within 6 months) is required prior to the start of the fall Semester (1 original copy).
  • Mask Fit testing (offered in September, on campus by the Nurse Training Officers)
  • AODA certificate (free of charge, access via link on Northern College’s main website)
Semester 1
AA3004 Pharmacology Theory and Lab
CM1913 Communications I – Model B
PW1014 PSW Practice
PN1033 Human Relationships
PS1173 Developmental Psychology
PS3033 Abnormal Psychology
PW1003 Human Body Structure, Function and Basic Maintenance
PW1013 Legislation, Ethics and Principles of PSW

Semester 2
AA1093 Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan
PW1002 Introduction to Community Care – Theory
PW1053 Introduction to Community Care – Lab
PW2011 PSW Clinical Practice
PW2013 Common Health Challenges and Care Needs
PW2017 Preceptorship

Semester 1

AA3004 Pharmacology Theory and Lab
This course will introduce students to the principles of pharmacology including the role medications play in restoring or maintaining health and provide the basic knowledge and skills required to safely administer medications in community workplaces. Given the ever expanding and changing nature of pharmaceuticals, only an overview of therapeutics will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on remaining current with medications and their actions and reactions in the body through life-long learning.

CM1913 Communications I – Model B
Communications I is a practical course designed to help strengthen both oral and written skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of learning methods and communication formats. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions and style. Students will also develop discipline-specific documents as well as learn the basics of portfolio assembly and presentation.

PW1014 PSW Practice
This course will provide learners with opportunities to apply concepts and knowledge gained in the classroom environment to practice settings. The emphasis will be on health promotion of well individuals throughout the lifespan. Learners will be exposed to individuals in selected age groups, through simulation, practice in laboratory and community facilities

PN1033 Human Relationships
Using an experiential approach, this course will focus the learner on the skills necessary to communicate effectively on a personal and professional level. The concepts of caring will be used as a basis to explore the helping relationship, interviewing skills and group dynamics.

PS1173 Developmental Psychology
This course is an introduction to the broad field of psychology. Among the topics you will study are: biology and behaviour, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, cognition, human development, motivation and emotion, personality theory and assessment, health and stress, mental health and social psychology. Human behaviour is very complex. This course will assist you in better understanding your behaviours as well as those of others. You will be able to apply basic psychological principles that will help you in solving every day real life problems in both your professional and personal life.

PS3033 Abnormal Psychology
This course examines various perspectives of abnormal psychology. We seek to understand the nature, causes, and treatment of abnormal behaviour. Several theoretical viewpoints will frame our discussion of abnormal psychology. The patterns of abnormal (maladaptive) behaviour to be examined are: behaviour and emotional disorders of childhood and adolescence, eating disorders, substance-related disorders, anxiety disorders, dissociative and somatoform disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. Students will also study treatment strategies and mental helath law in Canada.

PW1003 Human Body, Structure, Function and Maintenance
This course introduces the PSW student to the normal structures and functions of the human body as well as basic maintenance requirements. Themes in this course are: health promotion and age-related changes, including basic nutritional needs, body alignment and mechanics, infection control and stress.

PW1013 Legislation, Ethics and Principles of PSW
In Canada, legislation helps to make sure that all clients in the acute, long-term care and community settings get safe and competent care. Legislation protects not only the rights of the client but the rights of the caregiver as well. This unit will examine legislation that is relevant to the personal support worker and discuss ethical issues related to client care.

Semester 2

AA1093 Development Disability Across the Lifespan
The quality of life for people with disabilities can be enhanced with a supportive network that understands that people with disabilities undergo growth and development in similar stages to people without disabilities. In examining the lifespan of children, youth and adults with disabilities, this course will follow a developmental approach. Various disabilities will be studied within the negotiation of developmental tasks. Current best practices in identifying and facilitating support with dignity and respect will be emphasized.

PW1002 Introduction to Community Care Theory
This course provides the theoretical background for the delivery of practical skills that the personal support worker will require for client care in the community environment. Emphasis is placed on home management, home assessment, safety interventions and personal care in the private residence setting. Principles of nutrition and meal preparation will be addressed. Also covered will be home mobilization and client assistive devices and their application in the home/community setting.

PW1053 Introduction to Community Care Lab
This course is offered in a community lab setting to provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to the clinical practice setting through simulation. The student will be able to perform basic support skills required for community care and to effectively care for individuals in selected age groups and with a variety of medical conditions.

PW2011 PSW Clinical Practice
This course will provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom environment to the practice setting under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor in a long term care setting. The emphasis of this course is on the demonstration of knowledge, skills and attitude required to assist clients with personal routine activities of daily living.

PW2013 Common Health Challenges and Care Needs
This course introduces the PSW student to the impact of the aging process on normal body function. Attention is paid to pathological processes that impact on the normal anatomy and physiological processes in the body.

PW2017 Preceptorship
Personal Support Workers fulfill a vital and important role in the community setting. The worker cares for clients with clearly identified needs and assists the clients towards maintaining their independence in a supported environment. This course focuses on providing the learner with the opportunity to explore the community setting and practice required skills needed to provide assistance to clients in a private resident setting. Also this course involves the learner completing a placement in a long term care facility. The learner (preceptee) will perform duties and tasks in the role of a Personal Support Worker under the guidance and supervision of an employee (preceptor) in a long term care facility.

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