What does a Direct Support Professional do?
A Direct Support Professional provides assistance to people with cognitive impairments, chronic illnesses, or other mental or physical disabilities. Direct Support Professionals work in a variety of settings, including group homes, residential or retirement homes, day service programs, and client homes. They provide support to people with different medical conditions and assist them with personal tasks and other daily activities.
Direct Support Professional skills and qualifications
A Direct Support Professional must have a wide variety of skills to fulfill the needs of their clients. Some examples of a Direct Support Professional’s skills and qualifications include:
- Attention to detail
- Comprehensive knowledge of protocols related to specific projects or client needs
- Integrity, trustworthiness, and dependability to provide assurance to clients and their families that their loved ones are safe
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Compassion, sensitivity, and empathy when dealing with clients with a variety of healthcare issues
Direct Support Professional experience requirements
Direct Support Professionals generally must have a minimum of one year of experience as a Developmental Service Worker. Depending on the type of clients involved, some candidates may need someone with experience working with children. Candidates who have experience supporting clients with complex conditions and high behavioural needs are preferred for roles working with clients with specific health conditions.
Direct Support Professional education and training requirements
A Direct Support Professional generally must have a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as a valid first aid and CPR certification. They should also be trained in basic housekeeping tasks and be familiar with safety protocols, including how to respond to the patients in case of an emergency while knowing who to contact when the need arises. In addition, a Direct Support Professional must have knowledge about basic nutrition to ensure that clients eat properly, an awareness of infection control to protect clients from health-related complications, and the understanding of how to properly take note of vital signs.
Direct Support Professional salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for a Direct Support Professional is $18.53 per hour in Canada. Rate of pay may be dependent on experience, location, and type of client.
Job description samples for similar positions
If a Direct Support Professional is not quite what you’re looking for, some other job description samples that may fit your needs include: