Position Descriptions at Hammer Residences
Details on the DSP position
The title “Direct Support Professional” is a nationally recognized job title for a people who work directly with people who have physical disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities with the aim of assisting the individual to become integrated into his/her community of the least restrictive environment.
What tasks do DSPs do?
Think about all of the things you do in a day to take care of yourself. From the moment you wake up, you are hopping in the shower, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, making your breakfast, and getting to work on time. At the end of your day, you are doing chores like laundry or vacuuming, making dinner, maybe making appointments for yourself or running errands to the grocery store or the bank. We help the people we serve with anything they need to do in a day, big or small. The people we serve have a wide range of needs and abilities, and we encourage independence as much as possible–and that looks different for each individual. DSPs help with whatever the individual cannot do on their own. For example, it could be laundry night. Katie might be able to put her dirty clothes in the laundry bin, but due to physical limitations maybe she cannot carry the laundry basket to the laundry room. Enter DSP–you may be reminding Katie that it is her laundry night and verbally prompting her to put her dirty clothes into her hamper, then carrying her hamper to the laundry room. While in the laundry room you may be prompting Katie to get out the washing detergent, measuring out the right amount, and starting the machine. We call tasks like this “activities of daily living.” DSPs have to be able to flex between roles of coach, cheerleader, and supporter. DSPs are also administering medications and completing required documentation online, among a variety of other tasks.
What are the requirements of being a DSP at Hammer?
A valid driver’s license, personal vehicle and current auto insurance: DSPs at Hammer must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license. Part of a DSPs job is helping the people we serve access their community, so driving is essential. Hammer has company cars at each of our locations, and our insurance company requires that Hammer employees who reside in Minnesota must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license. In addition to a driver’s license, Hammer DSPs must have a personal vehicle. If the company car is in use, we ask that employees use their personal vehicle to transport the person they are serving. We will reimburse you for mileage, and our auto insurance protects you above and beyond your own auto insurance. New employees must provide proof of current auto insurance on their first date of employment.
While it may be true that some shifts, such as overnights, may do very little driving, the requirement of a personal vehicle and driver’s license is the same. In addition to having your vehicle available for the potential need of transporting someone that you serve, the locations of Hammer’s residential programs necessitate having a vehicle. Public transportation options to these residential neighborhoods in the suburbs are slim, and often not provided at the times of our shift’s start and end times. We do not consider another person providing you rides a reliable enough form of transportation. If these requirements change, we will update this information.
Legal authorization to work in the United States: all Hammer employees must be legally able to work in the United States. Employment verification is completed in an employee’s first couple of days at Hammer. More information can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
Being age 18 or older: if you are 16 or 17 years old and interested in employment, check out our Direct Support Assistant position. Regulations require any employee who administers medications and operates heavy machinery (such as vehicles) must be age 18 or older, and these are both essential functions of the DSP position.
DSPs must be able to see, hear, speak, interact, and write in English adequately in order to perform all essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.
What kind of training is provided at Hammer Residences?
All new Hammer employees attend New Employee Orientation. We offer more than one orientation schedule and our Human Resources Department would be happy to share more information about the schedule options with you. They are not published here as they are subject to change. Potential candidates must be able to commit to new employee orientation if offered a position as we are not able to schedule orientation for an individual employee’s needs. New Employee Orientation is geared towards the basics of the direct support positions and includes review of Hammer’s policies and procedures, as well as training required by regulations that govern our industry. We train all new direct care staff in medication administration, CPR, and person centered thinking. After New Employee Orientation held at our central office in Wayzata, direct care staff will continue training at their home base program. This includes getting to know each individual that you will be serving, their likes/dislikes, and routines. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the home or apartment program and get to know your new co-workers. You’ll master our electronic documentation requirements and continue your medication administration training. Your training consists of 1:1 time with your supervisors and co-workers, as well as “shadow shifts.” You will be assigned to a number of shadow shifts with your new co-workers where you are expected to observe and slowly learn routines and cares. You will continue with this combination of 1:1 training time and shadow shifts until you and your supervisor are comfortable with you working independently.
Once you have completed training at your home base program, you will begin cross-training at the other programs within your co-op.
What is a co-op?
A co-op is a grouping of Hammer’s residential programs. Within a co-op, each staff member is cross-trained at all programs. The residential programs within a co-op coordinate to meet staffing needs for proper coverage at each site. transportation needs of the individuals based on activities or errands, and strengthening the relationships between individuals at each site based on common interests.
What kind of shifts and hours do DSPs work?
Hammer provides residential support, which means that during the weekdays many of the people we serve receive vocational services through a day program or they have a job that they go to. That means that very few of our overall direct care hours occur Monday through Friday from 9am-2pm. We generally have afternoon and evening hours with shifts that start between 2pm and 4pm, and those shifts generally end between 8pm and 10pm. We design all of our schedules for each site’s specific needs, so we do not abide by “first shift” or “second shift.” We also have overnight hours at each site. Some sites have awake overnights, some have asleep overnights, and some have both. Those shifts generally start between 10pm and 11pm, and end around 9am. The busiest part of any overnight shift is 6am-9am where DSPs help the individuals they serve get up and ready for their day. We have all hours available on the weekends. We hire both part-time and full-time DSPs, and in general all of our direct care positions include some weekend hours.
Where are Hammer’s residential programs located?
Hammer has programs in the following cities: Wayzata, Plymouth, Maple Grove, New Hope, Crystal, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. The bulk of our programs are located in Wayzata and Plymouth.
What is the hiring process like?
All prospective Hammer candidates apply online to one of our open positions. You will be contacted by a Human Resources team member who will gather details about what kind of position you are looking for, such as part-time or full-time and what kind of hours you are hoping to work. The HR team member will also ensure that you are okay with the salary and that you would be able to commit to orientation if hired. If it seems like a good fit thus far, HR will schedule you for an interview at our central office in Wayzata. During the first interview they will ask you a variety of questions to assess your personality, skills, and interests. They will review essential functions of the job to ensure that you are comfortable completing all tasks after training is provided. If they think we have a good match for your availability and skills, they will present you a schedule that matches your availability and they believe to be the best possible match for your skills and personality. We always do second interviews at Hammer so that prospective employees can see the site, meet the manager, and hopefully meet the people you would be serving. If everyone agrees that it seems to be a good fit, HR will extend a formal job offer and get you scheduled for orientation.
What is the pay for a DSP?
Please go to www.hammer.org/careers/ to see a list of our current openings. The pay is posted with each opening.
Feel free to call 952-345-8555 or email Recruiter@Hammer.org if you have questions.