More Than a Career: Working as a Direct Support Professional

It’s a seemingly vague job title for an impressively important position.  Some believe the title must be vague in order for those who serve in this position to be able to do all that is necessary. A Direct Support Professional (DSP) is “a person who assists an individual with a disability to lead a self-directed life and contribute to the community, assists with activities of daily living if needed, and encourages attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion.” 

DSPs can work with those who have physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities. For those who are challenged with intellectual or developmental disabilities, a DSP may be an all-encompassing support person who enables:  

Proper nutrition. 

Preparing meals to meet the dietary needs of the individual they support is a large part of keeping someone healthy. Nutrition is a large part of physical and mental health as the gut microbiome is intimately related to mental and emotional health. 

Exercise and fitness. 

Exercise and movement are foundational to health and wellness. While 30 minutes of exercise a day is important, movement throughout the day is important to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Keeping it fun and interesting can be challenging, but a challenge that is necessary to maintaining health. 

Teaching and learning.

As a DSP, you are always instructing, inspiring and directing to assist an individual to the safest route possible through their day. In the same way, you are instructing your client, they also have a part in teaching you when you’re open to learning about communication, compassion, mercy and relating to unique and special individuals. 

Life coach.

You are the voice for and of your clients. They depend upon you for support, guidance, care, and coaching. Your voice is the microphone and speaker to communicate their character to the world around them. You become their best friend and family on whom they can rely. 


Above all, you provide companionship to someone who may not have relational experiences otherwise. Humans need relationships, touch, and care to live and thrive. Without these simple factors, we die. It’s a slow and agonizing death that DSPs stand and guard against each day. 

The job may not be glamorous or put you in the limelight, but you are the world to your client and their family. You represent love, kindness and caring in a world that is not usually kind. This may be the best job you will ever have. 

Are You Ready to Explore Being a Direct Support Professional? 

Your job will not require a specific certification or licensure. Your client won’t care if you’re wearing the newest fashion or just got your hair cut. They will notice your tone of voice, your touch, and your companionship. You’ll be thanked in ways you wouldn’t be in an office or corporate America. You’ll go home tired and wake up knowing you are making a real difference in the life of your client. 

Are you ready to experience the joy of giving someone a life? Call Capital Healthcare Staffing today! We are ready to help you and your new client develop a relationship you’ll remember the rest of your life. 

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