Careers are supposed to be open-ended, not a one-way street … and definitely not a dead end, right?
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 if you pursue a vocation in allied health assistance as it will afford you the option to explore many different fields, take on a variety of responsibilities, and continue to 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.
Growing demand for a growing sector
There are a couple of core reasons why allied health assistants are currently in demand, and will continue to be even more so into the future.
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 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 15 percent of the population in 2016 was over this age bracket, and this is expected to grow to 22 percent by 2056. Compare this to 1964 when the rate was just 8 percent. As the trend continues upwards in the coming years, there will be more pressure for access to adequate and accurate medical services than ever before. Add to this a growing population, and an increase in chronic disease, and it’s clear that healthcare workers will continue to be in high demand.
Secondly, information and access to medical services have 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 from a broader range of specialists, across a much wider geographical area. Allied health assistants are usually focused on one element of health, alongside their professional colleagues, which is perfect for specialist treatments.
In summary, a career in Allied Health will continue to provide job security for many years to come. In fact, it’s predicted that demand for healthcare workers will triple by 2050 – just within aged care
Where a career in Allied Health can take you
The increasing demand for healthcare workers begs an interesting question: what career paths can courses such as the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance actually take you on? Well, there are multiple career paths, from nutrition and psychology to podiatry, speech pathology, occupational therapy, dental hygiene, and much more. Below we identify three core professions that provide an overview of what a day in the life of an allied health practitioner looks like. This is just a snapshot of the many career paths that an allied health assistant can explore.
- Physiotherapy assistant
As an additional support person for those undergoing physiotherapy, these individuals would be talking to patients and preparing them for 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 accordingly in years to come
- 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 in private homes and rest homes.
A community rehabilitation assistant will work with both healthcare professionals and patients, providing hands-on rehabilitation such as exercise and adjusting to daily living, as well as administrative 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 referrals.
So there you have it – healthcare workers will be increasingly in demand for many years to come, with a projected increase of 24.9% growth (or 43,000 more positions) in 2018, and further increases beyond that. At Onfit, we offer a Cert IV in Allied Health Assistance that can take you on a variety of career paths within this sector. To find your place in an industry set for incredible growth, consider gaining a Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
If you would like more information about allied health assistants and how to embark on this career path, get in touch with the team at Onfit Training College today on 1300 557 637 or read more about gaining a Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance. We look forward to hearing from you!