Key messages

  • The Health assistant (nursing) implementation guide is practical guide for health services seeking to include health assistants in the nursing team.
  • The guide describes the steps and stages to follow when implementing the health services assistant role.
  • It details experiences from Victorian health services that have implemented the health assistant in nursing role.

The Health assistant (nursing) implementation guide is a practical guide for health services seeking to include health assistants as part of the nursing team in public health settings.

Health assistants (nursing) (HAN) work in acute and subacute settings as part of the healthcare team, assisting nurses to provide patient care. These health assistants work under the delegation and supervision of a registered nurse at all times, performing patient care activities alongside registered nurses and enrolled nurses. The role may include a range of tasks such as assisting with patients’ daily living activities (for example, personal hygiene and mobility), helping maintain a safe and clean environment in the ward, or assisting with documentation.

The roles and responsibilities of a HAN will vary according to the nature and needs of both staff and patients. Regardless of these variations, the process of developing and implementing positions will be similar. This document describes the steps and stages that can be adapted for use at any health service.

The guide is based on the experiences of Victorian health services that have already successfully implemented health assistant roles in their nursing teams, and draws on a range of published materials and other guides. It describes the health assistant (nursing) role and outlines a proposed approach to implementation, starting with the initial scoping of the project, planning, developing key components of the implementation strategy, and putting steps in place for monitoring, evaluation and review.