Allied Health Assistants are in-demand across Australia
by Simone Andrews, on 07/12/2020 8:34:44 AM
As demand increases across the mental health, disability, aged care and health sectors, so too does the need for qualified allied health professionals.
The Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP) projects a nation job growth of 12.4% over the next 5 years.1
Allied Health Assistants play an integral role in the support of health professionals across the Australian health space. They work under the supervision of health professionals and use fundamental medical knowledge to work with patients who may be injured, ill or disabled.
In Australia, there are approximately 195,000 Allied Health professionals who represent more than a quarter of the health workforce and deliver an estimated 200 million health services annually.2
So why are Allied Health Assistants in demand? And what does the future look like for those seeking a career in allied health?
Before we dive into these important questions, let's begin by exploring what it is like to be an Allied Health Assistant.
What is it like to be an Allied Health Assistant?
Allied Health Assistants support health professionals in managing aspects of patient care, handling appointments, and administrative duties. Places of work may include hospitals, medical or dental practices, schools, or community health centres. They often work with a range of different allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, sports physiologists, exercise scientists and speech pathologists.
The tasks and duties performed by an Allied Health Assistant will include:
- Working alongside treating professionals to monitor and report changes in patients' health status.
- Preparing and coordinating assessment, treatment plans and clinical support for patients, under the supervision of health clinicians.
- Providing administrative support to health professionals, including organising patient reports, compiling patient histories and program documentation.
Most of all, an Allied Health Assistant will need to have impeccable communication skills, show initiative, follow direction seamlessly, and be able to work in a team.
What skills do employers look for in an Allied Health Assistant?
It's important to note that Allied Health Assistants in Australia generally need to have completed a certificate level qualification in health before starting in the industry. While undertaking the certification, students of the course will learn many different skills which lend themselves to the different career paths within the Australian health space.
According to SEEK in 2020, key skills and experience an employer will look for include:
- Time Management
- Computer Literacy
- Occupational Therapy
- Interpersonal Sensitivity
- Aged Care Prioritisation
- National Employment Police Check
Keep in mind that Allied Health Assistants assist with a broad range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct health services support, under the direction of an Allied Health Professional. These require a broad range of skills in themselves. Depending on the career path one takes, also depends on the skillsets needed for that particular field.
What are the job opportunities for Allied Health Assistants in Australia?
As the aging population in Australia grows, so too does the need for health services and health professionals. Believe it or not, by the end of 2020 there will be more people aged 65 than babies aged one.
On 30 November, 2020, SEEK registered more than 700 jobs listed across Australia, with 22% of those jobs in Victoria.3
That's a huge number of opportunities for any given time, and that number is only set to grow. Currently, 7% of the Australian workforce are health care workers. As Australia's population continues to grow, so too will the job openings for health professionals and in turn, Allied Health Assistants.