For anyone who has learning disabilities or developmental disabilities, a direct support professional can be a huge help. When you become a direct support professional, you can expect a career that comes with many challenges on a daily basis. For instance, particular challenges could result from colleagues not arriving to help you work with your clients. Without their assistance, you may have to spend more time completing paperwork. Challenges can also arise from your clients, especially when they might hurt themselves, others around them, or even you. Cleaning up after your clients is another unpleasant possibility to consider as well. Here is more information about becoming a direct support professional, and what you can expect to do as one.
What a Direct Support Professional Does
As a direct support professional, your primary responsibility will be to help your clients live safer, more comfortable lives, either in nursing homes or hospice care, or assisted living facilities. You’ll assist them in completing typical tasks everyone does on a daily basis and help them learn how to accomplish these tasks for themselves. Although you will often be working with full-grown adults, you can expect to work with children as well.
Once you are a DSP, another way you can help your clients live safer lives is by preventing potential injury to both themselves and others around them. Ultimately, you’ll have to be patient; given enough time and patience, you’ll be able to sense what is frustrating or bothering them. To help them through their frustrations, you will also need to rely on existing information to address any potential issues. One way to address these potential issues is by consulting with other direct support professionals, as well as the other people invested in your client’s life who might have a better idea of how to help.
How to Become One
As with any other career, you will have to apply for the position you want. Once you have applied, interviews and background checks are standard parts of the entry process. If your background check passes, the position is more than likely yours. Becoming a DSP could take much less time than you might expect. Because people cycle in and out of the profession so quickly, employers might expedite the hiring process to fill these important positions as soon as possible.
Education and Experience Requirements
To become a direct support professional, you should be at least eighteen years old, and have a high school diploma. However, even if your prospective employer does not look for it, you can benefit from additional education. You also won’t need any experience when entering the field because employers will provide you with all the training you will need. Aside from the standard onboarding for new hires, this training includes programs in CPR, managing behavior in clients, and addressing any relevant safety issues.
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