If you enjoy caring for people in a healthcare environment, a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance could be a great qualification for you. This course will give you the practical skills to work in an acute care environment such as a hospital, health clinic or other medical facility. You’ll be ready to help with nursing duties in a range of roles in patient care, ward work or allied health. Your daily work might involve transporting patients, preparing them for treatment or attending to other needs they may have while in your care.

The Certificate III in Health Services Assistance covers a range of topics to prepare you for a role in the health care industry. You’ll learn to communicate with patients and colleagues, including using written or digital communication systems. You’ll develop the skills to interpret and apply medical terminology so you can follow instructions and carry out a range of routine tasks. The course covers basic information about the human body and looks at what you can do to promote healthy body functioning. It also addresses logistics in a healthcare setting, including following relevant policies and procedures.

Working in health services assistance can be very rewarding. You’ll help people during a challenging time so this is an ideal career choice for people who like helping others. This work requires strong interpersonal skills and you’ll need to be able to communicate well with people from a range of backgrounds. You’ll need to be able to listen to patients’ needs and understand individual circumstances. It’s important that you can follow instructions closely and follow correct procedures at all times.

A Certificate III in Health Services Assistance is an ideal course of study for the following careers:

Nursing Assistant

A Nursing Assistant helps with a range of patient care tasks in a medical setting. You’ll support other nursing staff by attending to duties such as checking patients’ temperatures or taking blood pressure readings. You might also help to transport patients or assist with manual handling procedures such as lifting patients from beds. Nursing Assistants often help patients with other tasks such as feeding, bathing or toileting when needed.

Patient Services Assistant

A Patient Services Assistant attends to a range of tasks for patients in a health facility. You might work in a hospital or in another type of healthcare facility. Patient Services Assistants may help patients check in and take them to where they will be treated by health professionals. You might assist them while they fill in necessary paperwork or help with self care tasks such as dressing or toileting.

Ward Assistant

Ward Assistants help with a range of tasks in a hospital or other medical setting. You might assist with transporting patients to other areas of a facility or help with manual handling tasks such as lifting or moving patients. Ward Assistants might help with showering patients or delivering meals or linen. You might also perform other tasks as required such as tidying ward areas or moving equipment to where it is needed.

Higher education pathways

A Certificate III in Health Services Assistance is a great qualification to get you started in the healthcare industry. You might decide to specialise your skills with a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance so you can work with allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech pathologists. You might also decide to focus on health administration with a Certificate III in Health Administration. If you want to advance your healthcare career, you could also consider a Diploma of Nursing.

If you choose to take your studies further, you could enrol in a university degree such as a Bachelor of Nursing or a Bachelor of Health Science. This will expand your career opportunities and increase your healthcare knowledge. A university degree may allow you to take on a healthcare position with more responsibility. You may be able to use a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance as a pathway to these courses.

Getting started

If you’re considering enrolling in a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, it’s important you request information from a range of course providers. There is usually some variation in how providers deliver their courses, so ensure you find out about the duration of the course, costs, any prerequisites and the content the course will cover. Once you have all the details you can compare information and find the right course for you.

Written by Jodie Magrath
Jodie Magrath
Jodie is a freelance writer with a background in communication and journalism. She’s spent almost 20 years working in roles such as Special Projects Writer and Publications Officer.