What type of CPR do you need for PSW? [Updated 2024]

June 29, 2024
min read
Last Updated
June 29, 2024
What type of CPR do you need for PSW? [Updated 2024]
As of June 2024, Ontario's Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are not government regulated, but this will soon change with the HSCPOA Act. While not yet mandated, Standard First Aid and CPR BLS certification is usually required to complete PSW college programs & demanded by employers based on healthcare setting needs and Ontario WSIB regulation 1101.

Why PSWs need Basic Life Support CPR

A Basic Life Support (CPR BLS) course is particularly relevant to the job roles and responsibilities of a Personal Support Worker (PSW). Before we dive into them, a quick note — the terms Basic Life Support (BLS), Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS), and Healthcare Provider CPR (HCP) are all interchangeable. Don't get confused, they're all the exact same standard of training and certification.  

  1. High-Quality CPR: Techniques for performing high-quality chest compressions and rescue breaths for adults, children, and infants. This is crucial for PSWs who may need to respond to cardiac emergencies in various age groups and vulnerable populations.
  2. Increased Employability: Many employers in healthcare settings prefer or require PSWs to have CPR BLS certification, as it ensures that staff are prepared to handle a wider range of emergency situations.
  3. Compliance with Regulations: In Ontario, healthcare settings often demand CPR BCLS certification to meet the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Regulation 1101 and other healthcare standards.
  4. Use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs): Training on how to effectively use AEDs, which are commonly available in healthcare settings and can significantly increase the chances of survival during cardiac arrest.
  5. Team Dynamics: Understanding the roles and responsibilities within a resuscitation team, which is essential for PSWs who often work as part of a healthcare team.
  6. Airway Management: Techniques for maintaining and opening airways, including the use of barrier devices and bag-mask ventilation, which are critical in respiratory emergencies.
  7. Recognition of Cardiac Arrest: Identifying the signs of cardiac arrest quickly and accurately, enabling prompt and effective intervention.
  8. Choking Relief: Procedures for relieving choking in adults, children, and infants, which is a common emergency that PSWs may encounter.

Why PSWs need Standard First Aid

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) need Standard First Aid for several critical reasons:

  1. Immediate Response: PSWs often work with vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, and individuals with disabilities. Standard First Aid equips them with the skills to provide immediate and effective care in emergencies, such as falls, cuts, or sudden illnesses.
  2. Workplace Requirements: Many healthcare settings, including long-term care homes, hospitals, and home care environments, require PSWs to have Standard First Aid certification. This ensures that all staff are prepared to handle emergencies, enhancing overall workplace safety.  In Ontario, healthcare employers must comply with Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Regulation 1101, which mandates first aid training for employees. Having Standard First Aid certification helps PSWs meet these regulatory requirements.
  3. Enhanced Safety: PSWs often work with vulnerable populations, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities. First aid training equips them with the skills to handle emergencies and provide immediate care, ensuring the safety of their clients.
  4. Immediate Response to Falls and Injuries: First aid training teaches PSWs how to assess and manage injuries, apply bandages, and immobilize fractures, which can prevent further harm.
  5. Seizure Management: PSWs are trained to keep the client safe during a seizure, preventing injury and ensuring proper post-seizure care.
  6. Diabetic Emergency Response: First aid training covers how to recognize signs of hypo- and hyperglycemia and administer appropriate care, such as providing sugar for hypoglycemia.
  7. Bleeding Control: PSWs learn how to apply pressure to wounds, use dressings, and manage bleeding effectively.
  8. Respiratory Support: Training includes how to assist clients experiencing respiratory distress, including the use of inhalers or oxygen if necessary.

What is the HSCPOA Act and what will change?

The Health and Supportive Care Providers Oversight Authority (HSCPOA) Act is set to establish an independent regulatory body to oversee Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in Ontario. This new authority will maintain a public register for verifying PSW credentials, implement a Code of Ethics, and provide a structured complaints resolution process. Additionally, it will offer a visual mark for registered PSWs, symbolizing trust and quality, and establish a fund for therapy and counseling for individuals alleging sexual abuse by registrants.

Given these upcoming regulatory changes, it is crucial for PSWs to choose Standard First Aid and CPR Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Most employers already prefer CPR BLS certification, and aligning with these higher standards will ensure compliance with future regulations, enhance professional credibility, and improve job prospects. By obtaining these certifications, PSWs can better prepare for the evolving requirements of their profession and demonstrate their commitment to providing high-quality care.

Are Online CPR Courses valid for PSWs?

It's important to know that fully online training is not accepted by college programs or employers. However, blended courses (half online, half in-class), such as those offered by Para CPR & First Aid, are fully approved and meet all necessary standards.

Blended CPR training courses combine the flexibility of online learning with the essential hands-on practice, ensuring you gain the practical skills and certification required by employers and regulatory bodies. By choosing a blended course, you can balance your learning with other commitments while still receiving the comprehensive training needed to excel in your role.

In Summary, PSWs in Ontario should choose Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support CPR

Overall, CPR BLS certification equips PSWs with critical skills that enhance their ability to provide safe and effective care in various healthcare settings.


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If you're a PSW in Mississauga, get CPR Certified with us!

If you're a PSW in Mississauga, get CPR Certified with us!

As a local team of active duty Paramedics, Para CPR & First Aid is the training provider of choice for PSWs in Mississauga. Especially since CPR BLS, a more advanced level of CPR, is recommended, who better to learn from than the people out there saving lives in real emergencies every day? Join our engaging half online half in-class courses at affordable rates and get certified at your own pace.

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