Nursing support worker

Also known as:

  • Nurses' Aide (NZ)

What they do

Assistants in nursing help registered nurses to give general patient care.  They assist nursing staff by supporting patients with tasks like helping them with their hygiene eg showering and shaving, meal set up and feeding, performing basic procedures such as monitoring blood pressure and applying and changing simple dressings,  assisting them to move into and out of bed, and to mobilise around the ward.

Specialisations include: Paramedical Aide

Working conditions

Assistants in nursing may be required to work evenings, weekends, public holidays or rostered shifts.

Tools and technologies

Assistants in nursing can be required to use a range of tools and technologies including: lifting aids, shower chairs, personal hygiene tools eg shaver, nail trimmers.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an assistant in nursing you usually need a formal qualification in health services assistance.

The Certificate III in Health Services Assistance is offered at TAFE Colleges and registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The health service assistance traineeship takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

A National Police Certificate is needed when seeking employment in aged care homes.

To work with children in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

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