How to become a Ward Assistant

Ward Assistant

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.

Personal requirements for a Ward Assistant

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to lift heavy objects
  • Caring and supportive attitude
  • Respect for the rights of others
  • Able to perform domestic duties efficiently
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to follow instructions

Education & Training for a Ward Assistant

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 and you may like to consider a VET course. 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. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Ward Assistant

Ward assistants:

  • Make sure that an adequate supply of clean clothing and linen is available for patients and that soiled items are removed and cleaned
  • Assist in maintaining stocks of linen and non-medical supplies
  • Assist with lifting and turning patients and transporting them in wheelchairs or on movable beds
  • Clean rooms such as bathrooms, showers, utility rooms and offices, and clean interior windows
  • Mop and buff floors, vacuum carpets, remove rubbish and linen, and dust all areas
  • Clean equipment in the pan room such as pan trolleys, buckets, pans, bowls, suction bottles and tubing, commodes, wheelchairs, seats and rinse trays
  • Clean patients' lockers and tables
  • Distribute and collect food trays, check food orders and replenish refrigerator supplies
  • Accompany patients who are ready to be discharged to the central waiting area
  • Transport equipment, X-rays and patient records between wards, departments and theatres
  • Transport deceased patients from wards to the morgue
  • Assist in emergencies and patient restraint.


  • Following therapy plans such as interventions to assist those with dementia and behavioural problems
  • Observing and reporting changes in patients' condition, and reporting complaints about care
  • Assisting patients with their mobility and communication needs
  • Assisting patients with their personal care needs such as showering, dressing and eating
  • Participating in planning the care of individuals
  • Providing direct support and assistance to therapists
  • Assisting with rehabilitation exercises, basic treatment and delivering medications

Working conditions for a Ward Assistant

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.

Employment Opportunities for a Ward Assistant

Ward assistants work in public and private hospitals, aged-care facilities, hospices, some health clinics and after-care centres.


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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.

Theatre Attendant/Orderly

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.

Ward Assistant

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    43 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    78% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    38% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    97,900 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.1%
    NSW: 35.0%
    NT: 0.6%
    QLD: 21.7%
    SA: 6.3%
    TAS: 2.1%
    VIC: 22.0%
    WA: 11.0%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 2.1%
    20-24: 10.3%
    25-34: 21.5%
    35-44: 18.8%
    45-54: 24%
    55-59: 12%
    60-64: 7.9%
    65 and Over: 3.5%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 13.8%
    Bachelor degree: 14.4%
    Below Year 10: 1.9%
    Certificate III/IV: 39.9%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 3.6%
    Year 10 and below: 10.8%
    Year 11: 2.9%
    Year 12: 14.5%
    Years 11 & 10: 9.9%
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