Professionally Validate Feelings when you Become a Personal Support Worker

personal support worker coursePersonal support workers care for individuals, assisting them with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as washing, dressing, and eating. They’re a positive, supportive presence and are respectful of space, privacy, and feelings. Working with people in their everyday routines means interacting with them during different emotional states. When you support someone who is feeling frustrated, exhausted, angry, or sad, it’s important to make them feel comfortable sharing that with you. Both negative and positive feelings can be validated by you and help your clients feel even more supported. Read on to learn some of the ways you can do this in a professional way.

What if you Become a Personal Support Worker and Don’t Validate Feelings?

If clients feel invalidated, they may start to feel misunderstood, isolated, or unimportant. They may also feel that their emotions are a burden to you. When working with someone new, a client might feel anxious, as you are someone they are not used to and you’re helping them with very personal things. When you make it clear that it’s ok to express discomfort, it can have a diffusing effect on stress and anxiety. When you become a personal support worker, you can see this in practice as you will need to establish trust as a priority with clients.

Daniel Wegner’s theory of “ironic processes” tells us that the more we try to suppress thoughts, the more present they become in our minds. In the same way, if a client feels they should not have certain negative emotions, they will be harder to avoid. By letting clients be honest with you, they are able to process their feelings.

Stay Present in your work after a PSW Training Program

Sitting with difficult feelings or negative emotions is not easy, so many people will multitask or half-listen when other people express these things. As a supportive person in a client’s life, you can give them the validation they may need by accepting their words and not avoiding tough messages. Listening with your full attention can make a world of difference to a person you are supporting.

Sometimes people worry about saying the right thing when supporting – but in your work, you don’t always need to respond. Paying total attention to your clients in a non-judgemental manner offers them safety. Simply being physically present when someone is experiencing pain or frustration with ADLs can make them feel seen and validated in their experience.

Staying present with clients will help you build a trusting, positive relationship

Staying present with clients will help you build a trusting, positive relationship

Use the Information you have about Clients to Understand Them

As you may know from a PSW training program, you could assist people in your career who have barriers due to aging, ability, or illness. From what you know about their personal barriers, you can often gain insight into why they may react or feel certain ways. For example, if a client is frustrated while putting on a shirt in a new way, you may want to validate their frustration by saying something like, “Given that this is a new technique for something you’ve been doing all your life, I completely understand why it would be frustrating.”

New ways to do ADLs can be frustrating at first for clients. Validating this can make them feel seen

New ways to do ADLs can be frustrating at first for clients. Validating this can make them feel seen

This normalizes the way they feel and lets them know there is nothing wrong with their emotions. Normalizing their feelings by acknowledging that other people would be upset in the same situation can also be very validating. Instead of feeling like they need to hide frustration, they can be reminded that it’s a normal human reaction to something that almost anyone would find difficult.

Are you interested in taking a personal support worker course?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Using the Gentle Persuasive Approach When You Become a Personal Support Worker

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Advances in medical technology and treatment means that more Canadians are able to live longer and enjoy a higher standard of care than in the past. While this progress is certainly good news, it also means that more Canadians will need caregivers who have the right training and qualifications to help them enjoy their golden years to the fullest extent possible.

The Gentle Persuasive Approach (GPA) is a unique, person-centred curriculum that was created in order to help personal support workers (PSWs) provide more effective care for clients affected by dementia or delirium. GPA explores and addresses the underlying behaviours influenced by dementia, as well as how to proactively respond to and manage these behaviours.

If you’re interested in becoming a personal support worker, read on to find out how GPA can help you in your future career!

A Person-Centred Model of Care Is Growing Among Personal Support Workers

There have been a few noticeable innovations arising in healthcare in recent years, including what’s known as a person or patient-centred model of care. This is an approach that emphasizes the personhood of each client, and takes their individual needs into account when planning and managing their care.

Person-centred care is at the heart of the Gentle Persuasive Approach because it helps PSWs better understand the individual motivations that influence the behaviour of each client. This can be useful when you have a client living with dementia, which manifests differently between each person and may necessitate more personalized care that fits specific needs, schedules, and preferences. In fact, this approach is so useful that more than 300,000 Canadians to date have enriched their caregiving skills with GPA training.

A Gentle Persuasive Approach Can Improve Positive Behaviour Management

Providing a supportive environment is important when you become a personal support worker because your client has just as much of a right to respect, safety, and comfort as anyone else. This can be complicated, however, when a client is living with dementia, because this disease often involves unpredictable or sudden changes in behaviour.

Students at KLC can use their training to create a supportive environment for their clients

Students at KLC can use their training to create a supportive environment for their clients

GPA emphasizes the idea that each behavioural display has meaning behind it, and a majority of these can simply come from unmet needs. Describing behaviour as ‘aggressive’ or ‘challenging’ is unfair to the client, whose behaviour can often stem from complications of their disease. Their disease means they may not be able to fully access the standard methods of expressing their wants or needs, which can lead to frustrated or upset behaviour.

A Gentle Persuasive Approach promotes positive behavioural management techniques such as validation, collaboration, celebration, and accommodation, which encourages your clients to redirect their attention to positive aspects rather than negative ones.

Compassion Is Important When You Become a Personal Support Worker

GPA is featured in a personal support worker course because it emphasizes compassionate care. Although it may seem obvious, compassion can actually go a long way in your PSW career, including improving your work and your client’s quality of life.

Compassion can help PSWs better connect with and understand their clients

Compassion can help PSWs better connect with and understand their clients

Compassion begins with understanding that the person is separate from the disease that affects them; having compassion for your clients means that you are able to sympathize with them, and want to help them in the best way possible. GPA teaches PSWs to ask themselves compassionate questions before they respond to client behaviour, such as whether or not the client may be hungry, tired, or thirsty, and are simply having trouble expressing it. The compassionate answer may in fact be the simplest one—a meal, a nap, a drink of water—and this kind of consideration can help relieve your client’s discomfort before it escalates into problem behaviour.

Do you want to find a PSW private college that can prepare you for a career in caregiving?

Contact KLC College for more information about our programs.

Ready to Start a New Career? 4 Reasons to Enrol in Our Personal Support Worker Course

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If you’ve already decided that becoming a Personal Support Worker (PSW) is the right career choice for you, you now have another big decision to make: which PSW program should you choose to pursue your studies?

Selecting a program that provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the role is crucial, however, you may also want to consider a school that offers career support after graduation. A quick search online will tell you there’s no shortage of PSW programs available, so how do ensure you make the right decision?

Not all PSW programs are created equal and KLC College’s stands above the rest for a number of reasons, including our hands-on education, small class sizes, and career services.

To assist you during your search, here are a few reasons to consider PSW training at KLC College.

1. KLC’s PSW Program is by the National Association of Career Colleges

Our PSW program is by the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), which means you can rest assured that our program meets requirements set by the NACC. The NACC is Canada’s largest organization representing private career colleges and counts 500 regulated career colleges as members. Their program confirms that a college has adhered to high-quality standards. Since our PSW program is by the NACC, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll receive an industry-recognized education.

2. Enjoy Small Class Sizes and Flexibility at KLC College

Our students get the personalized support they need in order to be job-ready as a PSW. You’ll benefit from small class sizes led by dedicated instructors. Limiting the sizes of our classes is ideal as it prevents students from feeling “lost in the crowd.” Instead, you’ll be able to easily ask your instructor for any clarification with the course material, and you’ll get individualized help as needed.

Furthermore, because our personal support worker courses are held during the evening, our program is a great option if you have other commitments and responsibilities during the day, such as work and family obligations.

3. We’ll Help You Land Your First Job after Your PSW Training Program

Our Career Directions Program prepares students to find work soon after graduating from their program. A dedicated advisor will work with you to identify your career goals and uncover the steps you need to take to achieve them.

You’ll also receive job readiness training, interview tips, resume writing help, and job search assistance as part of your PSW program. Developing these skills will help you market yourself as a strong candidate to employers when job hunting. In fact, over 94% of PSW graduates at our main Kingston campus find employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job search

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job searchBeautiful Asian businesswoman smiling and shaking hands

4. Our PSW Training Program Includes Hands-On Experience in a Clinical Placement

Hands-on training is valuable for two reasons: it is often the best way to learn the skills that PSWs need to exceed on the job, and it provides you with work experience that employers seek in job applicants. Our PSW training program features a clinical placement that you’ll complete on weekends.

You could be placed in a range of settings, including a healthcare facility, community agency, acute care facility, or perhaps another healthcare setting. You’ll work under the supervision of your instructor and a host-provided preceptor learning and applying skills that PSWs use every day. The clinical placement will help you become job-ready and in some cases and could even lead to a job offer.

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Do you want to become a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College today to learn more about our programs!

How to Plan Meals for Elderly Clients When You Become a Personal Support Worker

personal support worker college program

personal support worker college program

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) working in home-based care perform a broad range of services to help their elderly clients continue to live comfortable, healthy and fulfilling lives in their own homes. In addition to assisting them with their medications, mobility issues, household management and hygiene, PSWs often take an important role in planning and preparing meals for their clients, ensuring that their diets are varied, balanced and nutritious.
Elderly individuals sometimes have very particular requirements and restrictions when it comes to what they eat, however, and it’s important for PSWs working in home care to be aware of the issues that might affect an elderly client’s dietary needs.

If you’re interested in training to become a personal support worker, or if you’re currently enrolled in a PSW program, here’s a quick guide to healthy meal-planning for elderly clients.

Understand the Many Factors that Can Affect Seniors’ Dietary Needs

There are a number of potential complications and challenges that have to be taken into account when planning and preparing meals for elderly clients. Decreased sensitivity, for example, is a common issue among older individuals, as our senses of smell and taste weaken over time, which can in turn cause a decrease in appetite. Dental health can be another complication, as missing teeth, jaw pain or mouth sores could affect a client’s ability to comfortably consume certain types of food. The medications that elderly patients take can also have an impact on their diet, as some medications might alter the taste of certain foods, cause nausea or reduce appetite. In any case, it’s important to consult with clients before preparing a meal-plan, so that you can take into account any factors like these that might have an impact on their dietary needs or tastes.

Make Sure Elderly Clients Stay Well Hydrated

Our bodies use thirst as a signal that we need to consume more water. With elderly individuals, however, the mechanisms responsible for this signal often begin to weaken. This means that older clients are at a heightened risk of dehydration. In order to keep elderly clients hydrated, encourage them to drink small amounts of water regularly throughout the day.

Make sure that elderly clients drink plenty of water throughout the day

Make sure that elderly clients drink plenty of water throughout the day

Add Extra Ingredients to Meals to Pack them with Nutrients

One way of ensuring that elderly clients are meeting their nutritional requirements after completing your personal support worker course is to pack extra nutrients into meals wherever possible. This might include, for example, blending cauliflower and mixing it with macaroni and cheese, adding flax oil to nutritional shakes or mixing nuts and seeds into yogurts, pancakes or salads. By adding healthy ingredients this way, PSWs can find creative ways to make meals that appeal to a client’s tastes, while also targeting their specific nutritional needs.

Plan Meals in Advance When You Become a Personal Support Worker

When you become a personal support worker and are responsible for an elderly client’s diet, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that their meals are varied and that they’re receiving all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to stay healthy. Over the course of their daily and weekly meals, PSWs should ensure that elderly clients are receiving plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, fiber and vitamins C and D through a variety of sources. One good way to achieve this is to regularly rotate through main dishes and different protein options like fish, chicken, lentils and beans.

Plan meals ahead to ensure that elderly clients get variety in their diet

Plan meals ahead to ensure that elderly clients get variety in their diet

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College for more information about our Personal Support Worker college program.

How to Keep Elderly Clients Safe after your Personal Support Worker Course

personal support worker college program
The help of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) can make a world of difference in the lives of seniors. From assisting with basic daily living activities like eating and bathing, to helping facilitate a more active lifestyle, to providing simple companionship, PSWs can make their clients’ lives richer and more fulfilling in a number of ways.

Not only that, but PSWs also take responsibility for the safety of their clients. Seniors can be at increased risk of illness, injury or accidents, and trained caregivers must do everything in their power to limit potential risks.

If you’re considering a career in this rewarding field, read on to learn how PSWs can help keep clients safe.

Removing Potential Hazards from a Client’s Living Space

A large part of ensuring the safety of seniors is assessing their living area in order to spot any potential hazards and remove them. For instance, seniors are at increased risk of suffering from falls, which can lead to serious injuries. PSWs should check that all walkways are clear of anything a client might trip over, like electrical cords. Another good tip is to tape down any rugs or mats to the floor to prevent them from moving when walked upon and causing clients to slip.

PSWs dealing with those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments may also need to take additional measures to prevent clients from putting themselves in danger. This might include securing entrances and exits to prevent them from wandering, and keeping medications, cleaning products and other hazardous materials out of sight to guard against poisoning. A personal support worker course like the one offered at KLC College will include specialized training in cognitive and mental health issues to fully prepare you for the challenges of working with these clients.

Safety Aids for Seniors You Can Use After Your PSW Training Program

Depending on a client’s circumstances, it may also be possible to introduce a number of safety aids to their living environment in order to limit potential problems. For example, hand rails could be installed in the bathroom to help clients support themselves when showering or using the toilet.

For clients who live at home, it can also be a good idea to recommend buying kitchen appliances which have an automatic shut-off feature. That way, if a client accidentally leaves an appliance on, it will automatically power down after a few minutes, reducing the risk of fire.

PSW training program graduates should recommend appliances with automatic shut-off features

PSW training program graduates should recommend appliances with automatic shut-off features

Another very simple safety aid you can recommend for clients is a pill organizer. This is a compartmentalized box that will help them keep track of their medications so that they don’t forget to take their pills or accidentally overdose.

Ensuring a Client’s Safety When They Are Unsupervised

Depending on where you choose to work after your personal support worker college program, there may be times when your clients are left unsupervised. In these situations, it’s important that you take steps to prepare for any emergency situations that may arise when they are left to their own devices.

You should encourage clients to keep a phone nearby at all times, and write down emergency numbers so they can contact someone immediately if an accident occurs. An emergency response system, which is a necklace or wristband the client can wear with a button that can be pressed to call for medical assistance, can also be a potentially lifesaving device.

Emergency response systems can help keep clients safe after your personal support worker course

Emergency response systems can help keep clients safe after your personal support worker course

Above all else, it’s important to communicate with your client and be sure that they are aware of what to do in any emergency situation, and of any precautions they should take when they are alone. Doing this will help them take charge of their own safety, and ultimately allow them to foster a greater sense of independence.

Interested in helping improve the quality of seniors’ lives?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our PSW training program!

4 Fun Activities for Seniors That Could Help Your Clients After a Personal Support Worker Course

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Progress in medicine and health treatment has led to an ever-increasing demand for personal support workers (PSWs) to offer care for a growing elderly community. One of the problems many PSWs face is engaging clients in stimulating, active pursuits, and a recent study has found that seniors today have significantly less participation in activities than in the past.

For clients with reduced mobility or cognitive function, it can be especially difficult to find appropriate activities. Here are a few ideas PSWs can use to get their clients to have fun and stay active.

Have a Party, Dance, or Themed Event

Events are a great way to bring people together and have a good time in a group setting. Some elderly patients are at risk for isolation and depression, which can lead to a lower quality of life. For seniors in residential care, an opportunity to get dressed up or prepare for a special event can be a great motivator to engage and have fun. Creative options include, but aren’t limited to, a dinner party, casino night, or even a ballroom dancing event.

For seniors in residential care, a party is a good opportunity for socialization

For seniors in residential care, a party is a good opportunity for socialization

Good conversation can elevate a client’s mood, and reminiscing about the past or talking about shared interests can get seniors mentally and socially active without too much physical strain, allowing them to participate in an engaging and stimulating activity.

Draw from Your Personal Support Worker Course and Engage Clients with Games

A supportive, compensatory approach is ideal when planning activities. Due to the fact that some seniors are more mobile or have different capabilities than others, it is important to remember that physical activity certainly isn’t the only way seniors can have fun.

Students who have graduated from a personal support worker college program know that activities which keep the mind busy can improve cognitive function in elderly clients. PSWs should provide games which are challenging without being too frustrating, and provide good stimulation. Card games, puzzles, and classics like bingo and checkers can all get clients mentally engaged and active. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a group event, and can include one-person options like crossword puzzles and word searches.

PSW Private College Grads Can Get Creative with Arts and Crafts

Personal support workers can get clients in touch with their creative side in a variety of ways. From drawing to painting, to knitting, to scrapbooking, creativity is fun, engaging, and can even help improve a client’s health. For seniors battling chronic illness, channelling creative expression into a recreational activity can help decrease negative emotions and even reduce stress and anxiety.

Creative activities such as drawing or knitting can engage cognitive function

Creative activities such as drawing or knitting can engage cognitive function

Gardening, Bird-Watching, and Outdoor Activities

Multisensory activities can jog long-term memory capability, and outdoor activities can be beneficial simply by getting clients connected with nature. One of the important lessons students learn in any personal support worker course is that clients respond differently to different environments, but outdoor activities can be modified to avoid too much physical exertion for those living with more limiting disabilities.

Indoor or outdoor gardening, for instance, stimulates a variety of senses, and even gives clients a chance to do some low impact exercise as they tackle tasks such as repotting plants and watering flowers. Additionally, light physical activities like bird-watching or a modified yoga lesson can be a positive, relaxing pastime that gets clients active and out into the fresh air.

Interested in studying at a PSW private college?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Maximizing a Clinical Placement During Your Personal Support Worker Course

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Clinic placements are a useful opportunity to apply the lessons and skills taught in your coursework in a real-world setting. They allow an aspiring personal support worker (PSW) to gain meaningful experience while providing valuable healthcare services to their local community and clients in need of care.

While many students can be nervous before placements, finding the prospect of putting their theoretical knowledge into practice for the first time daunting, there is no need to be apprehensive. Here are a helpful few tips to make the most of a clinical placement.

Engagement is a Key Element in Any Personal Support Worker College Placement

For students enrolled in a personal support worker course, a clinical placement means necessary interaction with a variety of people, from mentors to healthcare professionals to clients themselves. A personable, open-minded approach will do wonders when it comes to adapting to a new environment, whether it’s a hospital ward or a client’s home.

A PSW should feel comfortable engaging with others during their clinical placement

A PSW should feel comfortable engaging with others during their clinical placement

A clinical placement is a valuable opportunity to observe and learn about the general operations of a PSW. This can mean simply learning by example, or through more hands-on methods. Supervisors and mentors play an important role, and should be consulted whenever a question or issue arises. The placement is also an opportunity to develop professional growth and knowledge, so certain limitations are to be expected, and it is in the best interest of the student, the teacher, and the patient to communicate and learn from new situations.

Presentation and Preparation is Half the Battle

Starting a new placement can be stressful, particularly if it is the student’s first time during their personal support worker college program. However, preparation in certain areas can help make for a smooth transition into a new work environment.

One of the easiest ways to prepare is to look the location of the placement up on a map, and be familiar with the basic aspects of the surrounding area. Calculating travel time is useful in order to avoid running into unexpected obstacles as well as any late arrivals. If you are working in a clinical environment, asking a staff member for a tour of the facility and noting any emergency exits or equipment can also help in future situations.

Due to the fact that the placement is often the first introduction to the healthcare field, care should be put into a professional presentation to show that the student takes their workplace responsibilities seriously.

Applying Lessons Learned From Your Personal Support Worker Course

The transition into the professional world, just as with anything else, is a continuing learning process. In their curriculum, students learn the foundations of becoming an exemplary personal support worker, including compassionate and effective techniques which treat the patient in a respectful, dignified manner. Healthcare services present their own challenges and obstacles, and proper coursework preparation can influence and make a difference in professional interactions within this environment.

Theoretical and technical lessons can often improve real-world experience

Theoretical and technical lessons can often improve real-world experience

Clinical placements will differ in how they operate from day-to-day, as well as in styles of management, but maintaining a working academic knowledge of the main aspects and functions that are expected will help each student build upon each experience for the duration of the placement as they work towards becoming a personal support worker.

Interested in studying to become a personal support worker at a KLC private college?

Contact KLC College for more information.

How a PSW Training Program Will Prepare You For A Rewarding Healthcare Career

become a personal support workerInvesting in a career as a personal support worker (PSW) can offer up a host of rich and rewarding experiences for compassionate people looking to give back to seniors. Getting trained in a PSW program is just the first step in gaining the necessary skills and expertise to make sure that the care you provide to your clients is always professional and benefits their well-being.

Choosing a career as a PSW also opens up the possibility of working in a variety of different environments alongside a diverse group of healthcare professionals. Continue reading to learn more about how PSW courses can prepare you for a wonderful healthcare career.

Qualified PSWs Enjoy Excellent Job Prospects

One of the greatest advantages of choosing a career as a PSW is job security. There will always be seniors in need of your unique caregiving skills throughout Canada, making it easy to find great opportunities.

PSWs are always in-demand

PSWs are always in-demand

Some PSW training programs, like those offered at KLC College, also provide students with practical hands-on training through clinical placements. This means that you could be placed into an actual work environment where you can practice the skills you’ve acquired during your studies, and learn some new ones!

These placements are an excellent way to build your resume and make it easier to find employment once you graduate. They are also great for networking with other healthcare professionals, who may be able to alert you of new opportunities.

PSW Training Programs Get You Ready for a Career with a Lot of Flexibility

Professional PSWs work in a variety of different environments, including long-term care facilities, palliative care, and hospitals, as well as caring for clients in their homes. As a result, PSWs enjoy a great deal of work flexibility, often choosing their own hours and working in the care settings they enjoy.

Each healthcare environment comes with its own set of perks and challenges, but a personal support worker course could help you learn how to contend with those challenges effectively. PSW programs that offer clinical placements can also give students the chance to experience these healthcare settings firsthand. For instance, at KLC, students can gain experience working in acute care facilities, for community agencies, and in a variety of other settings.

Some PSW Courses Can Offer Additional Certificates to Give You a Career Advantage

Another way healthcare colleges give students an advantage during their career is by offering additional certificates concerning certain care approaches and techniques. These certificates look great on your resume and can be an important asset for many care facilities and homecare agencies.

KLC College incorporates a wide selection of certificates into its program for aspiring PSWs, including First Aid and CPR training, which will give you the confidence and knowledge to intervene with clients in emergency situations. Students may also earn a Mealtime Assistance Certificate, which helps to train PSWs on how to best assist clients with their meals. At the end of the course, students are given an opportunity to earn certification by taking the National Association of Career Colleges exam that is recognized across Canada.

PSWs enjoy rewarding healthcare careers

PSWs enjoy rewarding healthcare careers

Are you ready to become a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College for more details!