A new wave of health professionals: Allied Health Assistants

Careers are supposed to be open ended, not dead ends. Once you have the qualification of your choice, it should be possible to switch your career path as you see fit. This is certainly the case of an allied health assistant – where you can explore many different opportunities and expand your skill set.

In this article, we’ll discuss why Australia needs allied health assistants and where a career in this field could take you.

A growing demand for a growing sector

There are a number of reasons why allied health assistants are currently in demand.

There are a number of reasons why Allied Health Assistants are currently in demand.

Firstly, Australia’s population is leaning towards an ageing curve, meaning that there are more people over the age of 65 than ever before. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, 15 per cent of the population in 2014 were over this age bracket. Compare this to 1964 when the rate was just 8 per cent. Over the coming years the trend is upwards, meaning that there will be more pressure on access to adequate and accurate medical services.

Secondly, information and access to medical services has improved out of sight. In the past, people would simply seek out medical advice from their local doctors or hospitals. However, with the advent of the internet among more community-based services, people are able to find out exactly who they need to see and get the attention required. Allied health assistants are usually focused on one element of health, alongside their professional colleagues – perfect for specialist treatments.

Providing multiple career paths

A career in allied health can take you in many directions.A career in allied health can take you in many directions.

This begs an interesting question: what career paths can courses such as the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance actually take you on? Well, we’ve narrowed this scope down to three to give you a good overview what is possible. These career paths fall under the umbrella of an allied health assistant.

  • Physiotherapy assistant 

As an additional support person for those undergoing physiotherapy, these individuals would be talking to patients and preparing them for the therapy. This could be as simple as setting up equipment and keeping records to demonstrating exercises with patients.

It’s also highly likely that physiotherapy assistants would provide reports to physiotherapists and keep them abreast of each patient’s needs and requirements. As mentioned above, Australia has an ageing population and physio services will increase in demand.

  • Community rehabilitation assistant 

As the name suggests, this career path is related to working with people in the community as they recover from various mental and physical injuries. This could be anywhere from hospitals and clinics to personal care homes and private rest homes.

A community rehabilitation assistant will operate with both healthcare professionals themselves and patients providing hands-on rehabilitation such as exercise and adjusting to daily living as well as administration support. This is the type of career path that is quite open, allowing you the opportunity to explore many different options and develop your skill sets over many years.

  • Exercise assistant

Within the gym environment, personal trainers are the most common occupation, however the career pathway of an exercise assistant, provides a new and holistic career option, that bridges the ‘fitness’ and ‘allied health’ industries.

As an exercise assistant, you can work under an exercise physiologist in the allied health sector, providing assistance in the prescription of fitness programs for both fitness and rehabilitation. Your role can also include communicating with personal trainers in relation to clients.

For qualified fitness professionals, becoming an exercise assistant provides the ideal opportunity of being able to provide exercise programs and recommendations as a fitness professional, but also fostering the relationship with exercise physiologists for clients needing referral.

If you would like more information about allied health assistants and how to take this career path, get in touch with the team at Onfit Training College today – we look forward to hearing from you!

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