Gateway Stories

Personal Support Worker

Jaslyn - Personal Support Worker
  • Name: Jaslyn
  • Job: Personal Support Worker
  • Location: Brisbane Northside, QLD

“Be the change
you want to see.”

Why did you choose this field of work/job?

I chose this field of work because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to promote their independence in both their home and within their local community. Working with someone in their own home is very rewarding as I help people to live ordinary lives and encourage community outings and relationships with the people around them.

What tasks does your job include? What do you love about your job the most?

My shifts are ten hours and include a variety of activities. I make my work completely person independent; I cater for their hobbies and values and encourage them to try new things. I work for an individual with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, which is an autoimmune condition that involves muscle deterioration at a rapid pace, and can affect the heart, lungs, bowel, and stomach. These individuals are therefore on 24/7 ventilation, and this particular client receives ventilations via a tracheostomy.

An average day at work for me means starting my shift at 6:30am. I get my client out of bed and ready for their day; this includes showering, dressing, bowel care and personal cleansing. Next, we complete tracheotomy (trachy) care, where the dressing surrounding the trachy, the trachy neck and the tracheostomy itself is changed, and peri-wound skin care is undertaken. Once we are ready for the day, I make breakfast and provide medications.

My job is very physical and includes lots of gardening and house cleaning. Sometimes we head out together and do the grocery shopping for the week or we might go for a walk along the beach or to the local park with the dog. This consumes most of my day and then I handover to the next shift worker at 4:30pm.

What I most love about my job is that there is always a variety of work and there is always something different to do. I love that I can encourage and promote community engagement and also play an important role in someone’s everyday life.

What was your study journey to get this job?

My study journey was a long but rewarding one. While I was in school, I completed a traineeship in a Certificate III in Disability which saw me work in a community-based environment. I started this traineeship when I was in grade 11 and completed mid-way through grade 12. A lot of the study and assessment pieces were completed via workbooks and during the time I spent with my manager in the community care centre.

What are your future plans for work and study?

I am currently in the last couple of months of completing a Diploma of Nursing, majoring in Diabetes and Anaesthetic Technology. After I graduate, I plan on moving around Queensland to take on a full-time job as an Enrolled Nurse.

What is one thing about your study and/or job that you would love to share with people considering this career?

My advice is to ask questions. Lots of questions! Ask about the many opportunities available and explore new fields and careers. Health is a great industry because there are so many different avenues that it can take you. You don’t have to be in a clinical environment to have a career in health.