5 REASONS TO BE A DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL (DSP)
Professional Experience and Training (in Healthcare, Human Services, Psychology, Social Work, etc.)
Becoming a DSP is a great way to launch a career in healthcare, social work, counseling, human services, and related fields. It is one of the few entry-level opportunities that can get you familiar with working with clients directly, addressing their personal conditions, learning industry terminology and regulations, and getting valuable on-the-job training. MDM offers paid training in areas such as medication administration, first aid, CPR, disability support, and ongoing training for human service providers. These skills are not only valuable for career advancement, but also transferable to normal life situations.
Industry Growth and Demand
The demand for direct support workers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, making it a very valuable job to have. Many individuals find DSP work to be sustaining and choose it as a rewarding, lifetime career path. DSPs can also advance to become house managers, designated coordinators, and executive directors of MDM or similar organizations. There will always be a need, both professionally and practically, for the valuable skills that DSPs acquire on the job.
Meaningful Work and Insights
If you are someone who enjoys helping individuals and learning about human behavior, then DSP work may be a great fit for you. The day-to-day work of a DSP has a strong impact on the individuals we serve, and makes a clear difference in their abilities to live independent and fulfilling lives. Working with these individuals and getting to know and help them may also change your own perspective or worldview. DSP work brings a unique sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that you will not find in many other jobs. Many of our DSPs report that developing helping relationships with our service recipients, witnessing their progress, and making a difference in their lives are primary reasons for enjoying direct support work.
Flexible Variety of Schedules and Supplemental Income
Because the individuals we serve may need round-the-clock care, DSPs may find work available during any shift. MDM has a variety of shift types— days, afternoons, evenings, and overnights! Our work is a great choice for job seekers who may have restrictive schedules, are seeking work outside normal daytime/office hours, or perhaps want to work weekends only. DSP work may be great as a second job for those seeking to earn extra income. It is also great for students, who need a job that is flexible with their schoolwork and class schedules. Flexible schedules are one of the many attractive reasons for becoming a DSP at MDM.
Casual Dress Code and Home-Like Work Environment
MDM takes great care to ensure that our settings are very home-like and comfortable for the individuals we serve. DSPs have the luxury of wearing their everyday clothing to work, and sharing the comfort of working in home-like settings.
You may find that DSP work is similar to visiting and assisting a family member or friend. You may play games with these individuals, or plan entertaining activities in their homes. You may help them host a barbecue or potluck dinner party, inviting neighbors and other service recipients. You may take them to community outings, which may include the movies, out to eat, the shopping mall, the park, parades, places of worship, and other fun places. It is unlikely for DSPs to experience the demanding deadlines, heavy physical labor, and common pressures of other workplaces. DSP work can be quite fun!
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