Therapy aides assist professional staff by visiting clients, preparing written and verbal reports, and helping clients and carers with personal care tasks.
You can work as a therapy aide without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in allied health assistance, health services assistance, individual support, disability, or leisure and health. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a therapy aide through a traineeship in Health Services Assistance, Allied Health Assistance, Disability, Individual Support or Leisure and Health. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.
Therapy aides may perform the following tasks:
Therapy aides are not qualified to diagnose conditions or prescribe treatment. They work under the direction of professional staff such as doctors, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, nurses, home economists, occupational therapists, diversional therapists and social workers.
Therapy aides work in hospitals and hospices, physiotherapy and occupational therapy practices and private homes. They also work in community health centres, aged-care facilities, respite care, clinics and private practices. Employment prospects are expected to grow due to the ageing of the population.
A community health nursing aide provides care for the sick, aged or disabled at home, including personal care such as showering, bathing and dressing, and ensures clients maintain a healthy diet.
An occupational therapy aide assists clients at home or in clinical settings under the direction of an occupational therapist. They may construct, adjust and fit aids and equipment, including splints. They may also assist clients with self-care, daily living skills and diversional or other rehabilitation activities with the aim of improving the safety and independence of the client.
A physiotherapy aide assists clients with exercise or rehabilitation programmes; delivers, adjusts and demonstrates self-care and rehabilitation equipment; and assists with moving patients within their homes or to hospitals or places of treatment.
A speech pathology aide assists with providing therapy to clients once a speech pathologist has assessed the client and devised a suitable programme, including instructing clients in the use of electronic and non-electronic alternative communication systems and preparing equipment to use with clients.