Depending on the severity of their impairment, persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) have trouble leading successful independent lives. Many are confined to public institutions where assistance and support aren’t as individualized. The Direct Support Specialist position was created by the healthcare industry to provide the disabled with the opportunity to live community-based lives of their choosing with an educated assistant who has the knowledge, skills, and values to make their I/DD patient’s goals a reality. The position was implemented to enhance the quality of person-centered support provided to all struggling children, adults and families with the necessary products, services, and certifications intrinsic to a Direct Support Specialist’s job responsibilities. We’ll show you the importance of individualized care, in this week’s blog, and express the necessity of the Direct Support Specialist position in helping disabled persons lead prosperous, meaningful lives despite their impairment.
According to the National Alliance for Direct Support Specialists, it is estimated that nationally more than one million new direct support specialist positions will need to be filled by 2022. The baby boomers are a massive generation that is currently aging. Eventually, there will be high demand for specialists to assist the elderly in daily tasks, chores, and leading healthy lifestyles. This is the reason the workforce is now exponentially growing. Become one today and learn more about the position itself.
Direct support professionals do more than just provide trusted aid to I/DD individuals. The job is a process, and you’ll be positively impacting an individual’s life who wouldn’t have been able to do so without you. It can be extremely personally rewarding. You’ll go home feeling fulfilled and that your work matters. You’ll be expected to document notable interactions between you and your patients, and formulate an effective caretaker strategy with your support team. Any changes in behavior or setbacks must be recorded. You’ll be a part of well-researched, effective process that will help a struggling person succeed! Most direct support specialists make visits to their client’s homes, so you’ll be doing a lot of moving around which is always adventurous. Sometimes a change in scenery keeps your world interesting. A high school diploma or something of equivalence is generally required for this type of work, but receiving specialized certifications will make your position more marketable.
There are six specialty areas associated with becoming a professional direct support specialist. Each has focused on a different area of mental/physical impairment. Earning your credentials for a specific area of expertise will make you a much more competent and successful at your job. These areas include positive behavioral support, health support, inclusion, supervision & mentoring, employment supports, and aging supports. Certified direct support specialist credentials recognize special training and give way to more distinguished career opportunities. You can apply to all of them, separately, if you’d like to earn certification in all fields. We highly recommend doing so as this will make your human services skill set wider and more accessible to future employers. Be a part of a growing workforce with
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