Why You Should Become a Direct Support Professional
Helping our members to live in the community, enhancing independence, teaching life skills, and ensuring client safety are just some of the ways DSPs can impact lives. But why become a DSP? There are a number of compelling reasons to work as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Here are some of the more popular ones:
Wide Variety of Work Environments
In what other job do you have such a variety of job environments and locations? You get to take members on recreational outings (like bowling, the movies, amusement parks, fairs, and such), deliver members to their programs, play games, and hang out at home with members. Other places and activities also jump into the mix as special events are organized.
Paid Practical Experience
If you are a student of psychology, sociology, nursing, social work, or any of the social or behavioral disciplines, becoming a DSP provides wonderful, real-life experience with populations that require learning skills that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. Also, you get paid to amass this experience. There is even the chance that your job can be set up so it qualifies as a practicum or internship, if needed.
Addition of Skills
As a DSP, you must have certain skills and certifications in order to be qualified to do the job. These include CPR, first aid, de-escalation techniques, lifting and fire safety, to name a few. If you do not have these certifications, no worries. Your organization will make sure you get them. And, once you have the knowledge, you always have it and you can use it any time you need it in all other aspects of your life. Another advantage is that you can learn or enhance domestic skills on the job. You can go (somewhat) wild in the kitchen, experimenting with nutritious yet good-tasting meals for your members. You can devise and practice more efficient housekeeping techniques, which can benefit both your members in their home, and you in your home.
Creating a Long-Lasting Positive Experience
Working as a DSP provides you the opportunity to meet individuals from all walks of life. You are able to be a part of an individual’s milestones and assist in exposing them to new personal growth opportunities that helps build their ideal life. With that comes a close bond formed with your members and truly experiencing firsthand the fulfilling relationship between a DSP and their members.. For those of us not used to such immediate positive feedback, this comes as a very refreshing aspect of the job. You are helping people to become more independent, to learn to be more able to care for themselves in a wider array of situations.
No Special Wardrobe Needed
Why become a DSP? There’s no special wardrobe needed! It is not necessary to dress up for this job. In fact, an informal style works quite well. You will be much better equipped to handle the variety of chores, tasks, and activities that are part of every DSP’s day.
Here’s one final reason for why you should become a DSP: In most cases, you can work as much or as little as you wish. Every other weekend? Two or three doubles in a row and then off for the rest of the week? Study time for an exam? Chances are good you’ll be able to find the work schedule you need.
As long as you have a high school diploma, you are qualified to become a DSP. If any of this has piqued your interest, or simply aroused your curiosity, browse our current DSP job postings here.