Is Becoming a Personal Support Worker Right for You?

Taking the Personal Support Worker program at a college is one thing. 

Working as a Personal Support Worker is entirely different

It requires many qualities to succeed as a PSW

Therefore, before you start looking for a college that offers a PSW program, you must assess whether you are the right fit for it.

It is important to know if you are a match for the course as well with respect to your personality, commitment level, and individual learning style. 

Here are some of the questions that you can ask yourself and determine if you’re the right fit for a Personal Support Worker program. 

This exercise will also give you a general idea on what type of college to apply to. 


Having a clear knowledge of who you are as a person with respect to your personality, temperament, attributes, flaws and general character is extremely important.

It will help you in choosing a particular course of study.

Knowing if you are patient, social, enjoy collaborating with others, a visual learner or slow to grasp new concepts will enable you to make an informed decision regarding what the best program for you would be.

For example, if you are an independent learner and generally take more time than others to grasp course material, attending a private college may not be the best option for you due to the condensed curriculum formats they typically offer.  

Hence, being aware of specific character traits you have – be it positive or negative – can allow you to create ideal conditions for learning and consequently, maximize your likelihood of succeeding in a PSW program.


Your overall objective should also be considered when making your decision. 

In effect, having a clear idea of what you want to achieve by embarking on the course will increase your chances of achieving whatever goals you have set for yourself both in the long and short run.

Whether you wish to work as PSW until you retire or plan to just try it for a few years to find out if the healthcare field is right for you is crucial in this process.

Further, knowing if you wish to work in a health facility versus a private home or plan to work full-time as opposed to being a part-time worker should also be decided on prior to enrolling in a program.

In doing this, you’re more likely to choose one that is a good fit for you, your lifestyle as well as your personal career goals.


Conducting an informal assessment of your lifestyle prior to choosing a program would also be beneficial and could help you make the most appropriate choice within this particular context as well.

Thus, identifying specific aspects of your life that could potentially help or hinder you should enable you to make the best decision possible when selecting the type of school you wish to attend.

For example, if you live in the country, away from most educational institutions, choosing a course at a private college that offers the shortest curriculum (and thus the fastest daily commute) may be the best option.

Conversely, if you plan to work part-time or on weekends, attending a traditional college or obtaining your certificate through a district school board could be the better choice due to the less intense workload they offer compared to private colleges.

Having children should also be considered, therefore in the interest of maintaining a healthy home/workplace balance, you may determine that it would be best to choose a course that will enable you to do so effectively.


Knowing what your general expectations are can also assist you when making your choice.

By knowing what you expect, you are obviously more likely to choose a program that’s closely aligned to what you are looking for.


Writing a list of miscellaneous questions that you may have regarding both the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a particular school and/or program can also help you to identify and thus, anticipate difficulties that may arise later.

Therefore, asking yourself pertinent questions and developing an action plan geared towards addressing problems, should they arise, can help to alleviate stress and fully prepare you for the issues that you may encounter.

The following are a list of questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Do I genuinely want to attend school in order to embark on/continue in this particular career?
  • Will the financial and personal sacrifices that I will have to make be worth it?
  • Do I enjoy providing health care for those in need of it?
  • Can I see myself working in the career years from now?
  • Will obtaining a certificate actually help me in my career or is the experience I currently have sufficient?
  • Will I be able to support myself financially with respect to the course fees required?
  • Will the pay rate that I will receive offset the potential debt that I’ll incur?
  • Will this particular branch of the healthcare field continue to experience significant growth in the foreseeable future?
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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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