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Position Titles You May be Overlooking in Your PSW Job Search

If you’re about to begin searching for a job as a PSW, it is important for you to be aware of the various titles under which the position can be classified.

Personal Support Worker” is a relatively new term that began being utilized, both officially and informally, throughout Ontario in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

You’ll be surprised to know that although “PSW”

or “Personal Support Worker” are the terms primarily used by employers in job postings however, there are currently over twenty position titles that can and often do replace it.

Whether an employer is looking to fill a position in a:

  • hospital,
  • long-term care facility or
  • a private residence,

they are likely to use titles that are either slightly or entirely different from the term “PSW.”

Regardless of the title featured in the job advertised, scope of the position, general work description, education required and the duties that it involves are almost always identical to those of a PSW.

Therefore, irrespective of the position itself, those working in jobs classified under the above-mentioned titles all work as front-line, tertiary-level paraprofessionals providing direct care to patients within the healthcare field.

Anyone with a PSW diploma is eligible to apply for jobs listed under any of the titles.

PSW Job titles

The following information will assist you in your job search by identifying the various titles used in PSW job postings.

The article will therefore provide examples of the titles used for PSW positions with each featuring:

  • a brief overview of the job,
  • an explanation of why you could be eligible for it, and
  • an actual screenshot of the posting.  

Ultimately, by knowing exactly what titles under which Personal Support Worker position can be classified under, you will be fully aware of the jobs that you can apply to.

This will subsequently improve your chances of securing a position.

Here is a list of 24 different job titles used for which you as a PSW, may be eligible to apply:

1. HEALTH CARE AIDE

Health Care Aide_new

Job postings with this title can be used for positions in hospitals and nursing or convalescent homes.

The chosen candidate for this particular position will have to perform Assisted Daily Living (ADL) tasks including:

  • bathing,
  • dressing,
  • grooming, and
  • feeding of patients.

Why you can apply: All the jobs posted under Health Care Aide (HCA) require applicants to have a PSW diploma. 

Therefore, if you have one, you should be eligible to apply for positions under this job title.

2. PERIOPERATIVE SUPPORT ASSISTANT (PSA)

Perioperative_Assistant_at_St._Michael_new

This position title is used by acute care hospitals for jobs in Operating Room(OR) and Post Anaesthetic Care Units(PACU).

This is a very unique and rewarding opportunity for PSW’s. Working under the direct supervision of RN/RPN/MD, duties typically include:

  •  Ensuring a smooth supply of equipment such as PCA pumps, oxygen tanks etc. 
  • Assist the position of patient’s before, during and after the surgery, 
  • Transferring patient’s from various units to the OR and back,
  • Transporting stat specimens and blood products, and
  • Assist in doing specialized surgical dressings.

Why you can apply: Since this is a specialized kind of position, applicants are required to have a Personal Support Worker diploma in addition to:

  • Basic knowledge of WHIMS and MSDS
  • Basic Life Support(BLS) certificate, and
  • Knowledge of sterile techniques.

If you have these qualifications, be on the lookout for positions listed with this job title.

3. TEAM ATTENDANT – SURGICAL SUITES

Positions that are listed under this title can often be found in acute care hospitals.

This job involves working within a team setting in order to deliver a high level of care to patients.

The chosen candidate would be responsible for providing portering services in addition to the stocking and maintenance of supplies and performing general housekeeping tasks.

Why you can apply: Any individual who has obtained a PSW certificate from a recognized institution would be eligible for this position. However experience working in a surgical suite environment is preferred. 

4. PERSONAL CARE AIDE

This job posting can be found in advertisements of individuals seeking a PSW to work in a private home.

Some of the nursing home positions are also posted under this job title.

These type of positions usually involve working with a developmentally delayed or an elderly person and performing many other tasks such as:

  • Turning and transferring clients from bed to chair or vice-versa,
  • Helping with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s),
  • Light housekeeping and homemaking, and
  • Feeding clients.

Further tasks include the serving of meal trays and ensuring the safety of patients within the facility.

Why you should apply: The postings indicate that those applying must possess First Aid and Health Care Aide certificates and have both PSW experience and a high school diploma.

Therefore any individual who has worked in the field as a PSW and has completed a recognized program would be eligible to fill this particular position.

5. CONTINUING CARE ASSISTANT

A position posted under this title can be found in jobs advertised through many organizations that hire healthcare personnel.

The chosen candidate is usually expected to perform tasks under the supervision of a Registered Nurse(RN) or a Registered Practical Nurse(RPN) and provide direct, hands-on care to patients by overseeing ADL and instrumental assisted daily living (IADL) duties.

Why you can apply: According to the job description of Continuing Care Assistants, standard PSW duties are to be performed  by the chosen candidate and can therefore be undertaken by anyone who has a Personal Support Worker certificate.

6. HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT

PSW Jobs as Health Care Assistant

Jobs advertised under this title can be found in both long-term care facilities and private residences.

The individual hired to fill the position must possess:

  • proficient communication skills,
  • ability to work in a team, and
  • a strong performance record.

The employee must also be willing to work as a casual in a pool of staff members and meet the physical, psychological and social needs of patients.

Why you can apply:  Applicants who have experience and a valid PSW certificate will be considered for the position.

7. PATIENT CARE ASSISTANT

PSW Jobs as Patient Care Assistant

This position title can be used for jobs that are available in nursing homes, hospitals and clinics.

In an acute care setting, the chosen candidate would work under a regulated health care provider. The candidate must also possess a PSW certificate and have some experience in the healthcare field, specifically in an acute or ambulatory care facility.

Duties include:

  • bathing,
  • positioning,
  • ambulation, and
  • the providing of general bedside care.

Why you can apply: Anyone with a Personal Support Worker diploma is eligible to apply for this position.

The candidate who ultimately fills the position would serve as an integral member of its healthcare team.

8. HOME SUPPORT WORKER

PSW Jobs as Home Support Worker

Positions listed under this title are often used for jobs that are being offered by an individual in a private home within the community.

The responsibilities that the chosen candidate will be given are standard PSW duties.

Why you can apply: Applicants are expected to possess a PSW certificate or have the equivalent in work experience.

9. UNREGULATED CARE PROVIDER (UCP)

PSW Jobs as Unregulated Care Provider

Personal Support Workers are not regulated in Ontario. Which means that there is no official body that overlooks this profession. 

Therefore, PSW’s are sometimes referred to as Unregulated Care Providers (UCP’s) as well.

Positions posted under this job title can be found in senior housing establishments in addition to other chronic or elderly care facilities.

Why you can apply: You can apply for job posted under this title if you have a certificate in the field as well as related experience working with a behaviourally complex population.

Therefore if you have worked as a PSW in previous jobs and possess the skill-set associated with it, you could potentially be eligible for these positions.

10. HOMEMAKER

Jobs posted under this title are typically for positions in private residences.

These type of positions are usually casual or part-time.

Job duties typically include providing assistance to persons who are elderly or have impairments such as an intellectual or physical disability.

Why you can apply: You can apply because candidates will be expected to perform tasks that are consistent with those of a standard PSW job.

11. COMPANION DRIVER

Jobs posted under this title are typically for positions in private residences.

The position itself involves work with convalescent, terminally ill and elderly patients.

The chosen candidate will be expected to perform typical PSW duties such as:

  • light housekeeping,
  • grocery shopping, and
  • providing general companionship.

Why you can apply: Applicants do not have to have a PSW certificate or possess advanced PSW knowledge and skills as the primary role of the employee will be to provide companionship to clients. 

If you have a PSW certificate, you’re eligible to apply.

12. RESPITE WORKER

Jobs posted under this title can be for positions in private homes throughout the community.

The position itself involves:

  • providing personal care,
  • laundering of clothing, and
  • feeding.

Candidates must have valid CPR, First Aid and a PSW certificate.

Why you can apply: Anyone with a Personal Support Worker diploma is eligible to apply for this position.

13. COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER

PSW jobs as Community Support Worker

Many healthcare staffing agencies are found to use this title in their job postings. 

This job involves the providing of ADL support to individuals both within and throughout the community.

Therefore

  • meal preparation,
  • cognitive, social and emotional support, and
  • the lifting/transferring of clients

are usually several of the duties performed by the chosen candidate.

Why You Can Apply: Applicants must have a PSW certificate as well as experience working with a vulnerable population.

Therefore anyone who has worked in the field and has completed a recognized PSW program could secure the position.

14. HOME AT LAST ATTENDANT

Job postings under this title can be found in openings offered through home and community care organizations.

The chosen candidate for this position would be responsible for meeting clients at the hospital, assisting them in discharge procedures and escorting them home.

Further duties include:

  • meal preparation,
  • personal care, and
  • the completion of an environmental risk assessment.

Why You Can Apply: Applicants for this position must have experience working with the elderly, however they do not have to have a PSW certificate to be eligible for the job.

The duties required for the position are standard tasks that PSWs are typically expected to perform, therefore anyone who has worked in the field would be eligible for this job.

15. E-SHIFT SUPPORT WORKER

PSW Jobs as eShift Support Worker

A position listed under this title can be offered through a healthcare employment agency.

The job involves providing of palliative care to patients in their homes virtually and by using an integrative care approach.

The chosen candidate would be responsible for working collaboratively with the attending nurse and providing sensitive, holistic and individualized care to patients who are at the end of their lives.

Why you can apply: Although certification in palliative care is an asset for this position, applicants who have a PSW certificate and some experience are eligible for it.

Overall, the duties and responsibilities associated with this position are consistent with the majority of other PSW jobs.

16. SUPPORT SERVICES ATTENDANT

Positions posted under this title can be used by community-based rehabilitation and advocacy organizations.

The job involves various non-medical PSW duties including:

  • assistance with range of motion exercises,
  • lifting/transferring,
  • meal preparation, and
  • bowel and bladder procedures.

Why you can apply:  A PSW certificate is required for this job. Applicants are simply expected to have experience working with individuals who are physically disabled, knowledge of typical bowel and bladder protocols and a CPR certificate.

17. HOME HEALTH AND PERSONAL CARE ADVISOR

PSW Jobs as Home Health and Personal Care Aide Advisor

Positions advertised under this title can be used by some employment agencies.

This particular job involves performing tasks which include:

  • buying groceries for clients,
  • organizing schedules,
  • providing companionship, and
  • transportation to appointments.

Why you can apply: This position involves providing assistance with standard ADL duties. Individuals who have worked in the field and are familiar with the tasks to be performed would be eligible for the job.

A PSW certificate is sometimes required.

18. COMPANION AIDES

Jobs advertised under this title can be used by not-for-profit organizations throughout Ontario.

These positions involve:

  • planning and preparation of meals,
  • respite relief care,
  • reporting changes of the patient’s medical situation to the supervisor, and
  • the preparing of special diets.

Why you can apply: Although the position expects candidates to have basic PSW skills, having a certificate is not mandatory.

Applicants also do not have to have CPR and First Aid certificates as well although having them would be an asset.

19. ATTENDANT SERVICES WORKER

Jobs posted under this title can be used by private employment agencies throughout Ontario.

The individual chosen to fill this position would be responsible for assisting physically disabled adults live in their homes independently.

Some of the duties include:

  • adhering to program plans outlined by an occupational and/or speech therapist,
  • providing assistance with bathing, grooming, and
  • catheter care.

Why you can apply: The position does not require a PSW certificate and experience is not mandatory.

Applicants simply must be able to perform standard PSW duties and tasks within a private residence setting.

However having a PSW certificate and some experience in the field would be an asset.

20. PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANT – HOME CARE

Positions advertised under this title can be used by private healthcare companies throughout the province.

The job involves the providing of bedside care to patients who have sustained a brain injury or have a physical disability.

The chosen candidate would be responsible for:

  • performing ADL duties including housekeeping,
  • helping patients to walk,
  • personal hygiene care, and
  • the dispensing of medication.

Why you can apply: You can apply for this position as applicants who do not have experience can be trained on the job, however a PSW certificate is required.

These position are open to anyone who has completed a PSW program and is willing to receive on-the-job training if he or she lacks experience.

21. SENIOR CARE PROVIDER

This particular job title can be used for positions in private homes.

The chosen candidate would be responsible for assisting a family to provide care for an individual with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease or any similar condition.

The duties include, but are not limited to bathing, grooming and generalized ADL care.

Why you can apply: The chosen candidate would be responsible for performing tasks that are consistent with standard PSW duties. Having a PSW certificate and/or experience is not mandatory however is an asset.

22. GUEST ATTENDANT

PSW Jobs as Guest Attendant

Job postings under this title can be used for positions that are being offered in seniors housing facilities.

The job itself involves the providing of standard PSW duties such as:

  • housekeeping,
  • laundering of clothes, and  
  • dispensing of medications.

It is preferable that applicants for this job has a PSW certificate in addition to experience working with seniors.

Why you should apply: Applicants should possess an adequate level of knowledge with respect to PSW duties and having experience and a certificate is an asset.

Employers would be willing to train the right candidate in the event that he or she lacks  the experience and/or education.

23. CLIENT CARE ATTENDANT

Title of this job posting can be used for jobs that are in a private residence.

The individual chosen for the position will be responsible for assisting with tasks ranging from the providing of personal care to light housekeeping services.

Why you should apply: The duties required to be performed with respect to the position fall within the scope of a standard PSW job.

24. RESIDENT ASSISTANT

The title of this position can be used for jobs that involve working with seniors residing in a long-term care facility.

The chosen candidate will be expected to perform ADL duties including the providing of:

  • mobility,
  • incontinence care,
  • dining services support, and
  • maintaining accurate care reports.

Why you should apply: Applicants are expected to have some experience working as PSW and a certificate is a must.

Also, its required duties and responsibilities are consistent with that of most PSW positions.

CONCLUSION

There are a large number of titles under which a PSW position advertisement can be posted.

As you embark on a career in the field, it is critical for you to be aware of the differences that exist with respect to the wording employers choose to post a PSW job opening.

However,

regardless of the title used in the position listed, it involves the same duties and responsibilities and are therefore, for all intents and purposes, still personal support worker positions.

Ultimately, many individuals belonging to the elderly, vulnerable and behaviourally complex populations in our communities now wholly rely on the services provided by healthcare workers.

Thus, with the rise in demand there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of PSWs choosing to enter the field throughout Ontario each year.

Therefore, whether you are considering becoming a PSW or already are one and wish to seek a job, knowing the different titles that exist with respect to online postings can potentially help you secure a position.

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