what is a health care assistant?
Working as a health care assistant is a great way to enter the healthcare field and begin caring for patients or clients. The job positions include being self-employed, working for an agency or working for a care facility. Your primary responsibility is to help clients stay safe and comfortable and assist with their overall wellbeing. Generally, you step in during a time of need due to an illness or patients becoming unable to manage their daily tasks. Your duties vary widely, from helping your clients bathe to preparing meals.
where does a health care assistant work?
Aging people often need assistance with their daily activities to live independently. As a health care assistant, you also meet the needs of people with physical or mental disabilities. You assist in their homes, care facilities or community and disability care centres. Your job involves working closely with health professionals and the client to complete daily tasks and assist doctors with implementing treatment plans.
Aside from monitoring and recording your clients' progress, you help them take medication and do rehabilitation exercises. You also provide emotional support and companionship to help them maintain their dignity and self-worth.find jobs
average salary of a health care assistant
A health care assistant job in New Zealand pays an average of $25.50 per hour. Your pay package starts at $23 per hour when you work in an entry-level position. As your expertise and experience improve, your pay increases to $28 per hour.
what factors affect the pay of a health care assistant?
The pay package of a health care assistant varies depending on various factors. While you can work as a health care assistant without formal education, having some qualifications improves your salary prospects. Most employers pay more for qualified health care assistants due to their knowledge of the role.
Your experience also influences your earnings. That's why entry-level health care assistants earn less compared to experienced professionals in the field. Experience improves your expertise and competency and means you can handle complex duties and tasks.
Your area of specialisation also determines your earnings. For instance, if you work in aged care centres, the responsibilities differ from working in mental health care centres. The complexity of your duties and patient conditions may also improve your salary expectations.
types of health care assistants
Health care assistants differ based on the clients they work for and the type of personal support they provide. Some types of health care assistants include:
- aged health care assistants: as a health care assistant, you can specialise in working with the elderly. You support aging people and help them manage their daily living activities. Your job is to help them live independently in their homes.
- mental disability health care assistants: as a health care assistant, you are trained to assist patients with mental health disabilities. You help them in their homes or community and hospital care facilities. You offer emotional support and help with daily tasks.
- domestic health care assistants: as a health care assistant, you can provide personal care in a domestic setting instead of a hospital or community care centre. You work from a client's home and help them with their daily routines. You also implement treatment plans, assist with personal care and record the patient's progress.
working as a health care assistant
Working as a health care assistant involves caring for patients with limited mobility, various health conditions or disabilities. Here's a breakdown of the role's duties, work environments and career outlook:
education and skills
There are no specific requirements to become a health care assistant. However, employers usually prefer you to have, or work towards, a qualification such as:
Aged Care, Home and Community Support:
- New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2)
- New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Health Assistance (Level 3), to work in hospitals and rest homes
- New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing – Support Work (Level 3), to provide care in private homes
- New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Care and Support.
Having additional certifications like a first aid certificate and driver's licence improves your work prospects.
skills and competencies
Some of the skills and qualities of a health care assistant include:
- empathy: as a health care assistant, you require empathy to make clients feel cared for and safe. When you understand their situation, you can provide better care and attention.
- observant: as a health care assistant, it is important to be observant to identify any changes in a client's condition. Some clients may be unable to articulate what is troubling them, and being observant helps you identify their issues.
- communication skills: you require good communication skills to communicate with clients and other health care providers. Good communication helps your clients feel safe and in control.
FAQs about working as a health care assistant
Here are the most asked questions about working as a health care assistant: