Ward assistants help allied health professionals and staff in hospitals and other healthcare establishments with non-medical duties including housekeeping, food service and transportation, and ward, patient and office support.
You can work as a ward assistant 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 health support services or health services assistance. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a ward assistant through a traineeship in Health Support Services or Health Services Assistance. 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.
Ward assistants may perform the following tasks:
Ward assistants work rostered shifts which include night and weekend work. They are on their feet for most of the day. In large hospitals, ward assistants may work in a particular department such as outpatients or maternity. In smaller institutions, they may assist in several or all departments.
Ward assistants work in public and private hospitals, aged-care facilities, hospices, some health clinics and after-care centres.
A porter - hospital collects and transports medical equipment and supplies such as clean linen and surgical tools. Porters perform various cleaning duties and do physical work such as shifting furniture, gas cylinders and other heavy objects.
A theatre attendant/orderly sterilises instruments, and checks that operating theatre lights and machinery are working correctly. They transport patients to and from operating theatres and may assist with minor tasks during operations.