The training you will receive as you work toward earning your personal support worker (PSW) certificate will allow you to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for success on the job. Throughout the learning process, however, you will also find that a number of interpersonal skills will be integral to your success.
Working on these qualities during and after your training is a great way to ensure that you perform well as a PSW as you enter your career. Keep reading to find out more.
Empathy is an Important Skill to Cultivate During Your PSW Certificate
One interpersonal skill that PSWs would be lost without is empathy – the ability to understand and share the experiences and feelings of another person. As a PSW, you will often be working with clients who are seniors, and may experience physical or mental disabilities.
Any of these characteristics can have a significant impact on an individual’s day-to-day activities and quality of life, and may contribute to distress or discomfort. An ability to put yourself in your client’s shoes will make it easier for you to identify, understand, and meet their needs.
Communication Skills Are Essential for Personal Support Workers
The ability to communicate effectively is another skill that will be absolutely essential after earning your PSW certificate. Communication skills are critical not only to your ability to ascertain your clients’ needs, but also to your capacity to understand and relay information to your colleagues and supervisors.
PSWs often need to report changes in their client’s behaviour and condition to a supervising nurse, and it is essential that this information be clear and accurate. Additionally, effective communication with your clients will help you build strong and supportive relationships with them, contributing positively to their care.
Developing Patience Will Help You Succeed After Your PSW Certificate
Sometimes, it can be very challenging and tiring to do good work as a PSW. Clients may be scared, in pain, or simply unhappy, and this can make simple tasks like check-in conversations or ambulation much more strained.
In order to succeed, PSWs often need to be patient with their clients, giving them time and space to ask questions and express emotions. Patience is an interpersonal skill that ties in closely with empathy. If you understand what your client is feeling, it will be easier for you to avoid reacting negatively and making the situation more difficult.
Bringing Self-Awareness into Your PSW Work Will Make You More Effective
Finally, self-awareness is an interpersonal skill that can be very helpful after graduating from a personal support worker program. While it may seem like an individual skill, self-awareness is actually essential to successful interpersonal interactions and relationships, especially in the fast-paced environments that often employ PSWs.
Being aware of your own reactions, emotions, and the extent of your own knowledge and skills will make it easier for you to anticipate challenges, avoid escalating difficult client interactions, and know when you need the guidance of a supervisor. By making an effort to develop and improve these interpersonal skills, you will be making strong contributions to your future career success as a PSW.