Experience a fulfilling career with hands-on learning. With an aging population and shorter hospital stays, the need for personal support workers in the healthcare industry is vital. The Personal Support Worker program includes a combination of skills-lab training, 9-week field placement to equip graduates with skill and confidence entering the workforce.
Plus, you may be eligible for a full-tuition government grant when you begin the program. Other costs such as transportation, living expenses, and childcare may also be covered. Fill out the Request Info form today or go to our Free Tuition page to learn more.
As a Personal Support Worker graduate, you will qualify for positions such as Home Care Agencies, Nursing Homes, Private Residences and Hospitals.
Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads
Ridgewood Addiction Services
Forest Dale Nursing Home
York Care Centre
Pine Grove Nursing Home
Eden Special Care Home
*Employment Rate based on 2019 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.
NOC Code: 4412, 3413 - **Wage data based on NOC Code 4412 and rounded down to the nearest dollar, based on New Brunswick data. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in July, 2021.
Available Learning Options
At Eastern College we aim to provide learning options that
meet everyone's need. This program is currently available in:
Instructor-led classes held in-person at one or more of our 4 campuses.
The need for home support workers and personal care attendants is increasing as our population ages. A role in this rewarding field will see you providing support to clients and their families that need assistance; whether elderly, disabled, or recovering from a serious illness or injury.
As a Personal Support Worker, your job will be to assist individuals with their daily routines, including preparing meals and feeding, maintaining personal hygiene, running errands, monitoring medication and recovery, and informal counselling support. Studying to become a Personal Support Worker at Eastern College will provide you with the skills required to meet provincial standards, to help you find a job in your chosen field that much quicker.
Students enrolled in this program receive:
CPR (HCP–Healthcare Provider Level / BLS-Basic Life Support)/First Aid
National Association of Career Colleges for Personal Support Workers
This provides you with the additional knowledge and skills you need to support clients in the acute care hospital setting. You will learn to assist the health care team with measuring height, weight and vital signs, heat and cold applications, meeting client oxygen needs, physical examinations, peri-operative care, medications and enteral nutrition, IV therapy. You will also learn urinary and fecal elimination and wound care.
This module will introduce the student to the basics of anatomy and physiology. Students will gain an understanding of human body systems in order to apply the knowledge in their daily work as a Personal Support Worker (PSW)/Home Support Worker (HSW). The following body systems will be covered in the module: the muscular-skeletal, digestive, urinary, integumentary, reproductive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, and endocrine. This module will also address the common disorders and age-related changes for each body system.
Care Planning, Restorative Care, documentation, Working in the Community
Support of various types is the main function of the PSW/HSW. Yet, support is more than providing help. It relies on a number of factors not the least of which are skill and sensitivity. This module builds on the materials presented in the introductory module, PSW/HSW fundamentals. It identifies the support to be provided, the significance of the support to the client and of the need for the support. Supporting the client to regain routine abilities by relearning and issues of rights of the client as a receiver of support will be presented. The care plan or service contract is the framework within which the worker provides support to the client. The worker must know the purpose of planning, the ways in which planning is done and the persons who are involved, including client, support worker, care givers and professionals. As members of the support team, PSWs/HSWs will learn about implementing parts of the care plan and communicating information accurately and without judgement. These activities are conducted in accordance with employer guidelines [agency or client]. Students will also be introduced to working in a community health care environment, providing support to patients and families in communities including individual homes, Retirement Homes, Long Term Care Facilities, Acute Care settings and Acquired Brain Injury Programs.
Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries
Personal Support Workers/Home Support Workers recognize that behaviors or changes in behavior can be related to illness or other conditions such as cognitive impairment, brain injuries, substance abuse, or mental illness. They use approaches and techniques to assist clients with these conditions in keeping with the care/support plan and report observations to the appropriate team member. They also identify factors that can increase the risk of suicide and recognize signs of possible suicidal behavior. This module introduces students to common psychiatric conditions [affective disorders and schizophrenia], substance abuse, cognitive impairment and brain injuries. The possibility of multiple conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and depression will be discussed. The role of the family caregiver as well as the importance of observation, documentation and reporting will be reviewed.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.
Digital Literacy for Professionals
This course has four units that introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. The first unit introduces you to using devices and handling information with topics on operating systems (Windows, MAC, and Linux), computer organization (folder management and naming conventions), cloud storage (including Microsoft OneDrive), types of web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari), and fundamental troubleshooting. In the second unit, you will become familiar with creating and editing information through learning about file formats (pdf, mp4, docx), productivity (including iWork and Microsoft Office Suite) and creativity (Adobe, Canva, iMovie) platforms, and basic introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The third unit on communicating and collaborating will introduce you to web conferencing applications (Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams), mail applications (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail,), project management tools (Trello, Asana), and time management tools (including Todoist, Outlook Calendar, and iCal), and building rapport virtually. In the final unit, you will gain an understanding on netiquette, cybersecurity, and digital wellness. After completing this course, you will have enhanced digital literacy skills as a professional in the working and learning environment.
Assisting the Dying Person
In this module, students discuss the concept of dying as a part of life and the possible impact of life- threatening illness on the person and family. Students will also examine personal beliefs about life threatening illness, dying, and the provision of support to the dying person and their family and friends. Assisting the dying person to maintain a desired lifestyle and respecting their right to make decisions with regard to support are also discussed. Specific approaches within the scope of the support worker to reduce discomfort or pain within the context of a plan of support /care are covered. Care of the person at the time of death, care of the body after death, as well as any procedures that must be followed are discussed.
As the result of an ongoing condition, many clients will require the assistance of another person in order to accomplish routine activities of living. Although PSWs are not expected to make functional assessments, they do require an understanding of the effects of disability, disease, or condition on functioning in order to provide appropriate assistance. As partners in a support or care team (along with the client and others), PSWs need to understand why, what, when, and how maintenance, rehabilitation, and restorative care are used to benefit the client. They will likely assist the client in a variety of activities, and must be able to interpret and carry out the instructions of clients and professionals involved with the client so the client receives the maximum benefit from their assistance.
This module introduces students to basic concepts of assistance as well as the general effects on the person of common disabilities, ongoing conditions, and diseases. Focusing on the importance of providing support safely, effectively, and comfortably, students will gain skill in necessary techniques. Concepts of maintenance, rehabilitation, and restoration are discussed, as is the importance of the support team in providing assistance. Activities will be discussed that require additional training, who is responsible for providing the training, and transferability of these additional skills.
Assisting with Medications and Administration of IM/SQ Insulin Injections
The PSW’s ability to assist a client with medication is essential in supporting independence or in supporting a family caregiver to attend to tasks or take needed respite. Students gain basic knowledge of the drugs used in the treatment of common diseases and disorders, including drug classification, use, therapeutic effects, side/adverse effects, brand/generic names, dosage forms, rules of administration, and directions for use of these meds. Students will identify purposes of medications, required instruction/information about medications to be administered, and cautions regarding medications. Students will develop and demonstrate skill in reading and interpreting information on prescription labels and demonstrate assistance with oral/topical, eye, ear, and nose drops, as well as learn to administer Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injections. The importance of observation for both desired and undesired outcomes, and procedures to be followed in the event of a problem with medications, will be discussed. PSWs can provide specific assistance with medications to the client in keeping with the directions stated in the care/support plan and under the direction and monitoring of an appropriate person, whether health professional, caregiver, or family member. It is understood that this assistance is provided on a case-by-case instruction by the appropriate person and cannot be generalized among clients or between support workers. Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin Administration component is a practical, hands-on training designed to prepare students with a background in the healthcare profession to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injection procedures. Students are guided to fully understand Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injections and the importance of administration, abbreviations related to medication and prescriptions, accurately read prescriptions and calculate medication dosage, understand injection landmarks, safe medication preparation, pain management techniques, risk and safety factors associated with Intramuscular/Subcutaneous Insulin injections. Students will be trained by a Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse.
Assisting with Personal Hygiene
PSWs/HSWs must have the knowledge skill, sensitivity to provide appropriate assistance to another person since significant number of clients for whom they provide service have disabilities that affect their ability to look after their personal hygiene. The PSW/HSW will assist clients with all activities or routines of daily living. These tasks include bathing, grooming, mobility considerations, toileting, and skin care. This module will consider caring for the ill, disabled, injured, and or confused patient, frailness, dignity levels of independence will be considered. Personal hygiene involves personal safety, self-esteem and dignity considerations. Knowledge about the structure, function, aging changes, and common conditions of the skin are reinforced. Personal Care measures around the clock will be considered. A focus on humanistic health care will build the foundation of this module. Oral care, perineal care, infection control, bathing techniques, grooming, dressing, bed making, shaving, hair care, skin care and much more will be covered.
Abuse and Neglect
This module introduces students to the concepts of family violence and abuse including its possible signs, as well as appropriate actions to be taken if abuse is suspected, including legal requirements. Personal beliefs and attitudes about family violence and abuse are examined as is the concept of worker abuse of the client. Finally abuse of the worker is discussed. PSWs/HSWs identify the concept of abuse and are able to recognize both causes and indicators. They are able to identify the requirements of legislation and to respond in accordance with legislation, employer policies and provisions of the service contract or support plan. They also recognize that the PSW/HSW may also be the focus of abuse.
Assisting the Family, Growth and Development
This module builds a foundation for students to understand family characteristics in terms of structure, functions, roles, lifestyles, and relationships. The influence of cultural values, practices, religious beliefs as well as the effects of illness, stress, disability on family relationships will be emphasized as central to the PSWs ability to provide effective support. This module also explores the role of the PSW in providing respite and assistance to families and their children, including those with special needs. Observation of selected commonly occurring conditions related to family functioning and life cycle events are included. A central focus is on the need for awareness of and sensitivity to family reactions to the presence of the PSW, family routines, preferences, and involvement in decision-making. Assisting the family with specific practical approaches in balancing care giving and rest, skills related to infant and childcare, as well as assisting a child with special needs are addressed. The stages of growth and development throughout the life cycle are also discussed.
This module provides an overview of the Personal Support Worker (PSW)/Home Support Worker (HSW) role in a variety of settings. Students will learn the principles of client-centered versus client-directed care, emphasizing the individuality of the client and his/her relationship with family, friends, and others. This module introduces the concept of individuality of all persons, their experiences, rights, interests, beliefs, and needs. Students will be introduced to the role and scope of responsibilities of PSWs/HSWs, including the variety of settings, work relationships, stress and time management, and applicable legislation. Consequences of exceeding the scope of the PSW/HSW role will also be covered. This module will also introduce students to interpersonal skills and communications, including conflict resolution and problem solving.
Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration
In this module the students will learn to assist clients with their nutritional needs, household activities and household management according to client preferences, comfort, safety, within employer guidelines. Nutritional needs including planned balanced nutrition, menus, preparation of shopping lists shopping, safe handling of food, storage, and specific cooking techniques. Special dietary needs of infants, pregnant and nursing mothers, persons with specific conditions [diabetes, feeding tubes, etc.] as well as persons with specific cultural and religious preferences will be addressed. Students will have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate skills.
Safety and Mobility
This module deals with aspects of safety as they relate to both the consumer/client and the worker. One of the fundamental activities of the Personal Support Worker/Home Support Worker is assisting the consumer/client with routine activities of living. It is essential that the PSW/HSW provide assistance in a manner that is effective, safe, and provides for client comfort. As part of this, the PSW/HSW must be aware of potential risks posed by unsafe equipment or settings and the appropriate actions to take if unsafe situations are identified. Infection control methods will be taught, as infections can cause distress for both the consumer/client and the worker. This module will also discuss body mechanics as well as consistency in transferring, lifting techniques, and the use of equipment to increase safety and reduce client anxiety, confusion, and dependency. Students will also learn the importance of proper positioning in a bed or chair for the comfort and safety of the client.
Student Success Strategies
In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
Grade 12 or equivalent or mature student status. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant.
Clear Conduct Certificate
Vulnerable Sector Search
Completion of a standard immunization form within 45 days of commencement of studies
Demonstrated fluency in English which must be verified through one of the following
1. NACC Technical Literacy Exam (passing score of 18)
2. IELTS – International English Language Testing (IELTS) – Minimum average score of 6.0 with no subject test score lower than 5.5;
3. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet based test (iBT) – overall 80, with the minimum in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
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