How to become an indigenous health worker

Provide healthcare and support to patients in Indigenous communities.

Pathways to this career

  1. Study an accredited certification in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander primary health care, with or without practice studies.
  2. Hone your skills as an indigenous health worker with qualifications like a bachelors degree in health science, community health, nutrition or psychology.
  3. Register as an indigenous health worker or practitioner by meeting the registration standards set out by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board. They will check your formal qualifications, criminal history, insurance and professional development plan.

What does an indigenous health worker do?

Indigenous health workers provide care with cultural sensitivity. In addition to their knowledge of healthcare practices and procedures, they understand the special needs of Indigenous communities.

Duties and tasks

  • Collaborate with other health care professionals to provide clinical services, evaluate patients needs and recommend treatment options, referring them to specialists or other services when needed.
  • Educate Indigenous communities on health and hygiene practices, risk factors and new treatments and procedures for health problems.
  • Educate health care workers and public outside Indigenous communities in cultural practices, sensitivities and risk factors affecting Indigenous populations.
  • Evaluate the health care needs of patients in Indigenous communities and advocate on their behalf.
  • Maintain and update patient records and health administration documents.
  • Provide routine sterilisation and cleaning of patient rooms, linens and garments and maintain personal cleanliness and sterilisation to prevent infections from spreading.
  • Translate between patients and other health care workers when needed to ensure understanding between patient and health care professionals.

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