Nursing assistant

Nursing Assistants help nurses to provide patients with direct support and services in health and community centres and environments. They should be understanding and helpful with patients and be able to perform a variety of functions and services.

Duties and tasks

  • Adhere to specialised care or treatment for elderly, mental health patients and patients with disabilities
  • Assist nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists in treatments and rehabilitation movements while treating patients
  • Assist patients with personal requests to ensure they are comfortable and to minimise pain or discomfort
  • Collaborate with nurses to understand individual patient circumstances and plan for recovery
  • Help patients perform basic activities such as eating, showering and changing in hospitals, doctors offices, residential care and convalescent homes
  • Notify nurses and doctors of patients development and reaction to treatments and medications
  • Provide routine sterilisation and cleaning of patient rooms, linens and garments and maintain personal cleanliness and sterilisation to prevent infections from spreading

Skills required

  • Coordination Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Perceptiveness
  • Strong Attention to Detail
  • Strong Communication Skills

Working conditions

Nursing Assistants typically work a weekly rotating schedule based on health or community centre operations. They typically need to work long evening and early morning hours for hospital and residential care settings as well as occasional weekends. They should be able to provide some physical labour, helping to lift immobile patients and moving and cleaning equipment.

Professional associations / Industry information

Carers Australia 

New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 

Nursing and midwifery in Western Australia 

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