Department of Health

Health assistant (nursing) - supporting nurses to care

  • Duration: Length 2:55
  • Transcript

    Jen – Health assistant nurse

    Health assistant nursing is a really great opportunity to get to know and get to feel nursing, really. It's a good twelve-month solid on-the-job learning.

    Tahlia – Health assistant nurse

    I just finished school last year, I just finished VCE at Siena College, and I wanted to do nursing but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if it was right for me and I saw this job and I thought, well, that will be a good insight, it will give me the feel if I actually want to go on to do nursing. And so far it has, so next year I’m going to go on to do my Div 1 and become a nurse hopefully.

    Karen – Health assistant nurse

    From day one we have been welcomed. They’ve loved our assistance. We get all our guidance off the nurses and they delegate our work load for the day, and we’ll move around the ward and whoever needs help, but they couldn't be more helpful. They’ve really supported us.

    Mary – Health assistant nurse

    There’s a lot of hands-on learning and studying, so we’ve come in as an entry-level, so basically the responsibilities are different in the sense that we’re doing, I suppose, basic level care, so the hygiene, assisting with the breakfast, lunch or dinner and also having time to spend with the patient, speaking to them, caring for them, so a lot of human contact.

    Kelly – Nurse unit manager

    The work load in the organisation at the moment. Patients are so acute and the nurse’s role is so vast that it is sometimes difficult to do the things that would mean the most to a patient, eating a hot meal, having a hot cup of coffee, sitting and talking to somebody. Unfortunately they’re the things that we probably lose out on at the moment and they’re really the things that we are encouraging our health assistants to do.

    Sally – Registered nurse

    They’re here to help us with showering, they do more of the hygiene side of things.

    Janet – Enrolled nurse

    It takes a lot of pressure off us in the mornings, especially on the morning shift with hygiene. They’re able to come in and assist us with that.

    Kellie – Enrolled nurse

    They help with the ADLs, they’ve been a massive support since they’ve come onto the scene.

    Jo – Project manager, nursing and midwifery workforce

    The health assistants have been really well received on their pilot wards, and they’re really well integrated into the teams. The wards often say they don't know what they did without them now and how much the extra help has made a difference to the RNs and ENs.

    Bob – Consumer, member of HANs steering committee

    When I first had my initial stroke there was trainees here as well. To me, it’s just the extension, is that they’d call a different name, that’s all. But very comfortable with the things they were doing and like I’ve said is that they were there to assist.

    Kate – Chief of clinical and site operations

    They also bring a personal touch to that and I see them interacting with the patients and going the extra mile and, I suppose, contributing to that atmosphere that we see on the ward and the outcomes we get for the patients.

Health Assistants (Nursing) undertake a variety of tasks to support the work of nurses and the broader healthcare workforce.

Reviewed 07 December 2016


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