Dress Code: What do PSW’s Wear for Work and Other Necessary Equipment

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.

Below are some tips for staying comfortable, professional, and prepared during your workday. 

Proper Clothing

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 workdays.

The scrubs you choose should not be tight-fitting, as you often need to squat, reach, sit, and move about. You need to wear scrubs that are somewhere between tight and baggy to feel confident 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.

Proper Footwear 

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 toe 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

Other Equipment

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.Pencil
  • 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 such as undershirts
  • Large bulky jewelry
  • Revealing clothing
  • Sweat pants
  • High heels
  • Jeans

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.

Resources you’ll need to become a Personal Support Worker

On this page, you can find anything there is to know about how to become a personal support worker, how to succeed as one, and how to continue your education. This is the place to come to and look for all the PSW resources and information that you may need on your journey as a Personal Support Worker.

PSW job interview questions

If you’re determined to pass your next PSW interview with flying colors, we’re here to help. PSWHQ have put together a thorough online guide with PSW interview questions and appropriate sample answers to these questions that hit the target, and are concise and supportive.

Performing well in the interview is just one part of many others needed to secure a PSW Job. First and foremost, you’ll need to have an impeccable résumé and cover letter in order to be called for an interview. 

Guide to finding PSW jobs

After you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker and completed the course you are now at a point to start looking for work. It is important that you explore all the jobs listed under different job titles, which is why you should go through our ultimate guide to finding PSW jobs.

We also help you find PSW job postings from hospitals, long-term care homes, and community and private settings. 

Advertising with PSWHQ

Over the past few years, PSWHQ has achieved a dominant ranking in major search engines such as Google and Bing. As a result, we offer a limited number of advertising opportunities to individuals, colleges, companies, and organizations we see as a good fit for the unique audience of PSWHQ.

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1. What should you wear as a support worker?

As a support worker, you should dress in comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily. You may also want to consider wearing layers, as the temperature in some facilities can vary. It is also important to wear clothing that is respectful and professional.

2. Can PSW wear nail polish?

Yes, personal support workers can wear nail polish as long as it is a modest color and does not interfere with their work.

3. Do PSW need stethoscope?

Yes, PSWs need a stethoscope in order to assess heart and lung sounds. A stethoscope is an essential piece of equipment for any healthcare worker.

4. What should I wear to work in a hospital?

It depends on the hospital. Some hospitals have a dress code, while others do not. If there is a dress code, it will likely be listed on the hospital’s website or in their employee handbook. If there is no dress code, then you can wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing.

5. Can caregivers wear anything during work?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as caregivers can wear anything that is comfortable and allows them to do their job effectively. However, some general tips for choosing clothing as a caregiver include wearing clothes that are easy to move in, choosing natural fabrics over synthetic materials, and avoiding busy patterns or bright colors that may be difficult to see.


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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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