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What Is a Direct Service Worker and How to Become One

What Is a Direct Service Worker?

A direct service worker (DSW) provides personal care to the elderly and disabled. They often work in an assisted living center, but sometimes work directly in the client’s home. As a DSW, your job is to help clients with all daily living activities. Your primary duties involve administering medication, preparing meals, assisting with personal hygiene, performing minor housekeeping, and keeping your client company. Though many direct service workers earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, the career doesn’t require formal education. Instead, the main qualifications are basic personal care experience and excellent communication skills.

How to Become a Direct Service Worker

There are no formal education requirements to become a direct service worker, but most have at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Employers typically provide extensive on-the-job training to new direct service workers. You may also need first aid and CPR certifications. In some cases, your employer may have you take part in a training program that leads to certification. Having some experience providing personal assistance and care to the elderly or disabled patients may make you more competitive in the job market. Additional qualifications include excellent communication skills and physical stamina to lift or move clients when necessary.