What is an allied health assistant?
In recent years, since the launch of the NDIS, there has been an increased demand for allied health services (Behaviour Support, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy etc.). Currently, our health systems are unable to fully meet these demands as there are more people seeking support than there are available therapists. To meet these unmet needs, Allied Health Assistants (AHA’s) are being hired, to assist with delivering therapist-led plans. Allied health assistants are typically 4th-year students in allied health or have studied certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance.
What do allied health assistants do?
The role of an AHA varies from client to client, but their primary role is to support therapists with their clients. AHA’s implement therapy plans written by a therapist, help to monitor progress and report this to the leading therapists by maintaining records of each session. AHA’s work under the supervision and guidance of the leading therapists. Therapists are responsible for developing the plans and AHA’s are responsible for delivering them in sessions with the client. Some skills that allied health assistants may work on:
- Handwriting and letter formation
- Sound production and speech fluency
- Coordination and balance
- Social skill development
Why is allied health assistant input useful?
AHA’s and therapists work collaboratively towards achieving client identified goals. AHA’s are skilled in targeting areas of function in therapy and liaising with therapists regarding session outcomes. Having AHA input can also increase the frequency of practicing new skills, which can increase the success of achieving therapy goals.