The job of a Personal Support Worker is very important. From ensuring that patients receive adequate care to being prepared for emergencies, PSWs work long hours and have much responsibility.
While there are many rules and regulations that govern the working life of a PSW, many PSW jobs do not specify what exactly should and should not be worn on the job. neccesaryi
Below are some tips to staying comfortable, professional, and prepared during your work day.
You want to ensure that you are wearing clothing that is appropriate for a working environment, but which will also ensure that you are comfortable during long work days.
The scrubs you choose should not be tight fitting, as you often need to squat, reach, sit, and move about. Scrubs that are somewhere between tight and baggy are the best options.
Also ensure that clothes you wear are clean and in good repair.
Additionally, you should make sure that your clothing is professional, and appropriate for the environment in which you work. Avoid wearing black, but also avoid extremely bright colors. The best color options are neutrals, pastels, and earth tones.
Finally, ensure that your clothing is comfortable enough to work in for up to 12 hours. Very often, the shift of a Personal Support Worker is 10 to 12 hours in length, so you want to make sure that you are comfortable so you can focus on your job and not on your uncomfortable attire.
Footwear is very important since you will be assisting patients, residents or clients by pushing their wheelchairs or helping them to walk.
Ensuring that you choose proper footwear will save you pain, and also help to keep those you care for safe. Make sure you can walk and stand for long periods of time and still be comfortable.
Do not wear shoes like Crocs, as the thick soles can often cause you to stumble or trip, and they are not always professional in appearance.
Following are some of the key points to keep in mind when choosing the right type of footwear:
- All Personal Support Workers should wear closed toe and heel shoes
- Running shoes are recommended
- Please do not wear high-heeled shoes
- Ensure that shoes you wear are non-skid
There are few other things you will want to carry with you whilst you are on duty as a Personal Support Worker.
Following items will help you to carry out your job duties more efficiently, in a safer manner, and to be professional.
- Watch – Carrying a watch helps you stay on schedule, and it also helps to ensure that the care plan you are following is carried out in the timely manner. Additionally, a watch helps to ensure that you arrive to scheduled meetings, appointments, and other activities on time.
- Day and Month Planner – Carrying a day and month planner helps you keep track of your work schedule and ensures that no appointments are forgotten or missed.
- Pen, Pencil, and Eraser – During the course of your day, it may be necessary to take notes, make notations for the client, or to amend a care plan. Having a pen, pencil, and eraser on hand will ensure that you are always prepared to make the necessary adjustments or notations.
- Name Tag– A name tag should be worn by all PSW’s, all the time.
What is not professional for PSW’s
Every hospital, Nursing home and employment agency may have their own policies on what you can wear and what not. Always follow those policies.
In general, following is not considered to be professional attire:
- Inappropriate language or logos on jewelry
- Low cut pants showing the abdomen
- Perfume, cologne or fragrances
- Tank tops or sleeveless tops
- Large bulky jewelry
- Revealing clothing
- Sweat pants
- High heels
Fragrance free policy
Certain healthcare institutions, especially acute care settings such as hospitals, have implemented fragrance free policies.
Always follow your employer’s policy on this.
In general, what this means for you as a Personal Support Worker, is not to wear perfumes, creams, lotions, hairsprays, colognes and aftershaves that are scented. Such products have been documented for adversely affecting a person’s health, especially of those who are sick or immune compromised.
Patients, clients or residents with history of respiratory conditions such as asthma as well as those with allergies and other conditions, have been found to have adverse reaction to certain odours and report of triggering an attack.
As in every area of your job as a PSW, choosing the appropriate equipment, clothing, and footwear helps to ensure that you are comfortable, carry out your duties in a professional manner, and are able to carry out all care plans in the most efficient way possible.
By taking care to think ahead and choose appropriate clothing you can make your job much more enjoyable, and you can better focus on the task at hand – serving the patients.
Image credit: Used under a Creative Commons Attribution from shawncampbell on Flickr.
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