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What is the difference between a supportive care assistant and a personal care provider (PSW, HCA)?

The roles are very different. The supportive care assistant role was developed as part of a work integrated training program. Students will support personal care providers (PSW, HCA) and the health care team. The role is limited to non-clinical activities such as:

  • Assisting with meals
  • Assisting with cleaning and disinfecting
  • Stocking materials required by clients and health care staff
  • Making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas
  • Providing companionship, comfort, and support
  • Assisting with and accompanying clients as they move about
  • Participating in activities with clients

Personal care provider programs are much longer and as a result they have more responsibility and carry out more complex tasks, such as taking vital signs.

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