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.
Who Can Be a Direct Support Professional?
While the position is challenging and requires a great deal of flexibility and creativity, the basic requirements are individuals who are 18 years of age and have a high school diploma. You can work in a residential or community setting undertaking a variety of responsibilities that center around working with individuals. The position is as a caregiver, and so formal experience is not necessary, and it’s one of the few entry-level positions in the medical field where you have the opportunity to work with individuals directly.
Why Is Being Bilingual a Benefit as a Direct Support Professional
Direct support professionals are needed in a variety of communities, and being able to speak two or more languages places you at a more significant advantage in the job force. But, being bilingual carries with it other advantages.
- Learning two languages, especially early in childhood, allows the brain to be more adept at switching between tasks and improves your memory. In fact, learning two languages at an early age just makes the brain better. It turns out, the brain is like any other muscle in that it is better the more fit it is kept. Learning and becoming fluent in two or more languages reduces the risk of degenerative disorders.
- Several studies have found those who are truly bilingual and can switch between two languages quickly exhibit more nimble and agile brains than those who speak only one language. Conversely, those who were fluent in two words but didn’t often switch showed far fewer benefits.
- Other studies have demonstrated those who speak two or more languages score higher in testing that measures open-mindedness and cultural sensitivity. In other words, they may much more easily consider situations from different cultural perspectives than those who are monolingual. This gives a direct support professional a significant advantage in a world where you are likely to either care for or come in contact frequently with those who speak other languages and grew up in different cultures.
- There are other studies that demonstrate those who are bilingual are also more adept at multitasking, and the ability to focus their attention in different directions. This is likely the result of being able to translate the second language in your head as you’re speaking it. Bilingual individuals also have a higher density in areas of the brain that are linked to executive functioning.
- People who speak multiple languages are prized by employers as it improves the diversity of the business and the empathy of the employees. Various work environments value different cultures and the ability to speak a different language above specific degrees or diplomas. Large corporations have found those who can speak more than one language have increased verbal and spatial skills that allow them to process information quicker and promotes cognitive diversity.
Are You Ready to Become a Direct Support Professional?
Although being bilingual has significant advantages if you’re working as a Direct Support Professional, at Capital Healthcare Solutions, we find this skill is not a necessity but rather a benefit. Whether you speak a second language or not, we can help you find a position as a Direct Support Professional where you can quickly develop and grow your career. Contact our professional recruiters today to get started learning more about this exciting and rapidly growing career.