Life of a DSP

Life of a Direct Support Professional

Author, Jordan Ferguson



Client’s Life


Imagine living in a world where you are unable to express your true feelings or views on topics of concern. As you reflect on your existence, you realize your inability to overcome obstacles that are holding your goals and aspirations hostage.

Just think, each morning you wake-up, you instinctively know you are unable to manage your life and that you may never reach your full potential. Of no fault of your own, you are faced with this unsettling reality on a daily basis.


DSP’s Life


Let us discuss the expectations of a Direct Support Professional (previously known as a direct care aide (DCA)). Individuals in this role help young and elderly people who are sick, injured, and physically or mentally disabled.

From my professional experiences, the life of a DSP is one of excitement, inseparable bonds, and love. To elaborate, the love and bond a DSP has with their client is like none other. It takes a special kind of person to connect with people that society often ignores.

While many are quarantined in their homes due to COVID-19, DSP’s are on the front-line making sure their clients are well and safe. Often times, the work week seems long and the DSP’s sleep seems short. Thus, the DSP’s life can be summed up in this one word, “Sacrifice”.

What separates the DSP apart from others is “their ability to sacrifice things many people hold sacred.” Being a DSP is more than a job, it is a lifestyle. You have to “make your life fit into the job.” Not many people will put the needs of others before their own needs. That is what makes us special people.

DSP’s are the backbone to our society. Each day we embrace hard work and challenging situations. Our clients experience good and bad days like everyone else. So, we are here to make sure the client has the best day possible no matter the circumstances. “We are at our best when everything around us goes wrong.”

DSP’s are there through it all and we can make something out of nothing. The bond you form with your clients and co-workers is unmatched. I have been working as a DSP for nearly one year. During my employment, I have met some compassionate people who treat clients like family. I trust them with my life.

Without trust in this field we have nothing because trust is the ultimate glue to making lasting relationships. DSP’s are some of the most empathetic, honest, and hardworking people on the planet, and our job requires DSPs to possess these qualities. Our clients look up to us as if we were their “Superheroes.”

In spite of clients’ disabilities, they are aware of the hard work and great care DSPs provide even if they are unable to express their appreciation. They may give a smile or a hug that lets you know how much they appreciate you. It is the little victories that help DSPs get to the big finish.

This job has changed my life forever. My desire is to make positive contributions into the lives of others. I decided to make a career out of helping people less fortunate. As a result, I will not take my mental and physical abilities for granted. I vow to bridge gaps among family, friends, and neighbors. “I believe there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down to lift someone else up.”

About me, I moved from Columbus to Findlay Ohio to help my clients. I am dedicated to my clients because they need assistance from willing and helping hands. Through this job, I found my purpose and I have grown as man, son, and brother. This is my chosen career path, and it comes with learning opportunities.


Photo taken by Hope Heskell