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Direct Support Professionals
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Direct Support Professional?
The demand for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) continues to grow. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities need someone in their lives in order to remain independent and safe at home. DSPs will provide assistance and instruction on completing tasks that most people take for granted. A DSP will help their clients with everyday tasks such as preparing meals, going to appointments and running errands. You may also be responsible for helping your client to take medication and maintain medical records.
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.”
Mental Health: How to Get Your Own Support as a DSP
As a Direct Support Professional (DSP), you’re in a position of always providing support and care for others. You have the unique privilege of providing support to intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals, allowing them to live in a home setting. Since you are charged with helping your patient to do as much for themselves as possible, staying in the background, you may not be “seen” as doing actual caregiving. This may give you and others the mistaken idea the job will not trigger burnout or cause stress in the way other caregiving positions do. But you would be mistaken.
5 Ways Being Bilingual Will Make You a Better Direct Support Professional
Direct Support Professionals play a critical role in the care of individuals with physical and mental disabilities. The position is complex, and the demand for those who are passionate about their job has never been higher. It is estimated there will be over 1 million new positions by 2022. The career path is rewarding, and each patient allows you to develop as a unique professional ready to adapt to a wide variety of circumstances. The benefits of working with an individual who may be physically and mentally challenged includes being an advocate for their growth and development.
Learn What it Takes to Become a Direct Support Professional
As a Direct Support Professional (DSP), you’re responsible for assisting and connecting with those who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities with their everyday tasks. This may mean housekeeping, meal preparation, driving to appointments, or running errands. While the description of the duties is similar to that of a home health aide, the responsibilities and education required are different. Depending upon your patient’s condition, DSPs may also administer medication, develop and execute behavioral management plans.