Who is the Social Health Operator (OSS) ? What does this professional figure do, what are his duties? And how do you become OSS ? In this article we will try to shed some light on the characteristics of the profile, emphasizing the activities he carries out every day and the essential requirements for exercising this profession.

What does a social health worker do?

The Social Health Operator, very often abbreviated with the acronym OSS, is a professional profile that operates in the health, social health and social welfare sector, and provides support and care services and assistance within public or private facilities or at people’s homes.

To get a clear idea of ​​this job, you need to know its duties. So, what does the social health worker do? An OSS provides basic care to the patient independently (in the case of standardized tasks) or with a subordinate role to that of the Nurse. It operates in both the health and care sectors.

The fundamental task of those who carry out this profession is to provide support and help to the assisted persons so that they are able to satisfy their basic needs (such as nutrition, personal hygiene, comfort, recovery or aimed at well-being). Among the activities that an OSS carries out on a daily basis there are also:

  • collaborate alongside Doctors, Nurses, Rehabilitation Therapists etc .;
  • support the patient in taking oral therapies;
  • to intervene on small dressings;
  • managing paperwork;
  • sterilize and sanitize environments and instruments;
  • check basic vital signs.

To fulfill these roles, the social and health workers find their employment in various areas: nursing homes, retirement homes, family homes, recovery communities, psychiatric centers and in all structures of health (hospitals, clinics, etc.) or of a social nature, both public and private.

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How can I become a social health worker?

Now we have a clearer idea of ​​the tasks that a social health worker must take care of. But how do you become OSS ? What training is needed and how is it structured?

To practice as an OSS it is mandatory to obtain a certificate through a training course lasting 1,000 hours , divided between theoretical and practical internship activities. The course can have a maximum duration of 18 months and is organized by the Regions and Autonomous Provinces or by training bodies accredited by them. The course is compulsory and deals with topics related to the following subject areas:

  • social-cultural;
  • psychological-social;
  • hygienic-sanitary;
  • technical-operational.

The requirements to be able to participate in the training course to become a social health worker are:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • having completed compulsory schooling (secondary school diploma);
  • in case of foreign citizenship, knowledge of the Italian language.

To obtain the certificate I level qualification of Social Health Operator it is necessary to attend at least 90% of the hours required by the course and pass the tests required in the final exams.