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Course Description

Female PSW smiling at two clients.

As the backbone of the health-care system, personal support workers spend the largest amount of time with clients. Astute observation and critical thinking skills are necessary for early detection of subtle changes in clients and knowing the appropriate action to take. Recognizing when and how to respond can prevent negative outcomes.

Hone your existing observation and assessment skills for collecting critical information. Learn strategies that promote critical thinking to determine when and how to act to achieve results that are in the best interest of the clients you serve.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify unstated biases, assumptions and feelings and examine their influence on observations, thoughts and behaviours
  2. Collect relevant information from a variety of sources required to support positive client and team outcomes
  3. Consider situations from multiple (client, family, other residents, staff) perspectives to develop solutions that support positive client and team outcomes
  4. Evaluate the quality and significance of information to determine appropriate next steps
  5. Communicate the relevant information to the right person at the right time

Course Topics

  • Observation
  • Gathering Information
  • Critical Thinking
  • Solving Problems With Critical Thinking
  • Putting it all Together

Additional Requirements

  • This course is intended for those working within the Personal Support Worker field and for adult learners who are at least 18 years of age.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course
  • You can expect to spend 8 hours per week to complete the course content, readings, activities, and assignments.


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Discussion Participation (4) 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Journal Reflections (4) 30% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summative Reflection  40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Total  100%  

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partners

OSAP Eligibility

This course is eligible for Ontario grant and loan assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for Micro-credentials. Learn more about how to apply for OSAP assistance.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.

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