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Direct Support Professional (HF-DSP-01)


Course Description

Direct Support Professionals provide care for individuals with developmental and or physical disabilities in a number of settings including group homes, day programs, home & community based services, and vocational rehabilitation. Students will learn methods for providing assistance with living skills development, health maintenance, medication administration, personal care, and behavioral development. This course will teach current and future Direct Support Professionals methods for developing individuals’ basic living and social skills with the primary goal of integrating them into the community to the best of their ability. This course is designed for entry-level Direct Support Professionals.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

• Identify the role of the Direct Support Professional
• Identify methods for supporting activities of daily living
• Identify methods for empowering clients and providing the care they prefer
• Comprehend the importance of supporting community inclusion as much as possible
• Identify methods for providing care to support clients’ physical and mental health


I. Direct Support Professional Module 1- Intro to Direct Support
a. The Role of the DSP
b. Self-Care and Personal Care (Personal Hygiene)
c. Community Health Care
II. Direct Support Professional Module 2- Ethics and Consumer Rights
a. Consumer Rights & Responsibilities in Health Care
b. Ethical & Legal Issues Affecting the DSP
c. Basic Medical Terminology & Body Organization
III. Direct Support Professional Module 3- Communication & Documentation
a. Classification of Disease
b. Communication Skills for the Health Care Professional
c. Observation, Reporting, & Documentation
IV. Direct Support Professional Module 4- Meeting Client Needs
a. Meeting Basic Human Needs
b. Comfort, Pain, Rest, & Sleep
c. Developing Cultural Sensitivity
V. Direct Support Professional Module 5- Health & Job Safety
a. Understanding Infections
b. Infection Control
c. Environmental & Job Safety
VI. Direct Support Professional Module 6- Client Movement & Safety
a. Client Safety & Positioning
b. The Client’s Mobility & Transfer Skills
c. The Client’s Mobility & Ambulation
VII. Direct Support Professional Module 7- Supporting Mental and Physical Health
a. Nutritional Needs & Diet Modifications
b. Taking Vital Signs
c. Caring for Clients with Emotional Illnesses
VIII. Direct Support Professional Module 8- End-of-Life Care
a. Death & Dying Care
b. Caring for Clients who are Terminally Ill
c. Caring for Clients with Alzheimer’s Disease
IX. Direct Support Professional Module 9- Caring for Special Populations
a. Care of the Elderly & Chronically Ill
b. Caring for the Clients with Cancer
c. Alternative, Complementary, & Integrative Approaches


12 months




There are no specific prerequisites for this course. Students will need access to both a computer and the internet. Students should have basic keyboarding and computer skills, and be comfortable navigating the internet.

The intended audience for this program is individuals that are seeking to gain employment as a Direct Support Professional.





This class supported by an Educational Mentor. Our educational mentors have worked or are working in the subject they mentor. Educational Mentors reviews student work, student progress, and interacts with students as needed. They respond to any questions or concerns you might have, as well as encouraging and motivating you to succeed.


Internet Access
• Broadband or high-speed internet access is required. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
• Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

• Windows hardware configurations and processors are acceptable
• Mac computers MUST have Microsoft Window Operating Systems over Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a free download from Apple's website)
• 1 GB RAM minimum recommended
• Operating Systems
-Windows XP, Vista or 7 and Mac OS X 10 or higher with Windows
• Web Browsers
-Google Chrome is highly recommended
-Internet Explorer is not recommended as it may not display certain menus and links
• Cookies MUST be enabled
• Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
• Kindle Reader App
• Adobe PDF Reader
• Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media.)
• Adobe Flash Player
• Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Quicktime, Windows Media Player, &/or Real Player
• PowerPoint Viewer

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