Health assistants (nursing) work as part of the healthcare team, assisting registered and enrolled nurses with patient care interventions and activities as directed, in accordance with the nursing care plan. They work under the delegation of registered nurses and supervision of qualified and experienced registered nurses and enrolled nurses. While health assistants (nursing) work within clearly defined parameters, the role itself is often flexible, involving a mixture of direct patient care and other activities that support the nursing team.
The Department of Health & Human Services has developed a number of guidelines and reports for health assistants (nursing) including the following.
- Health assistant (nursing) implementation guide – This is a practical guide for health services seeking to include health assistants in the nursing team. It describes the steps and stages to follow when implementing the health services assistant role and details experiences from Victorian health services that have implemented the health assistant in nursing role
- Delegation and supervision guidelines for Victorian nurses and midwives – This documents the roles, skills and contributions that health assistants (nursing) can make within health services by increasing clinical capacity and job satisfaction for nurses and midwives, enabling them to focus on more high-level tasks. Provides guidance for nurses and midwives as to how they can safely and effectively delegate tasks and supervise colleagues, other roles and health assistants (nursing) in undertaking delegated tasks.
- Evaluation of three Better Skills Best Care pilot projects – The department established the Better Skills and Best Care strategy 2005 to enhance patient access to healthcare through improving clinical productivity of highly skilled medical, nursing and allied health professionals through health workforce reform. This evaluation assesses the appropriateness and feasibility of the health workforce reforms that were piloted in three projects at Bendigo Health, Austin Health and Lorne Community Hospital. A number of advantages were identified and lessons learnt, with recommendations made for future rollout.