Healthcare & Medical

Hospital Ward Assistant

Hospital ward assistants carry out non-medical duties such as moving and transporting patients, stocking supplies, and keeping wards tidy.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Hospital Ward Assistant do?

Hospital ward assistants carry out non-medical duties such as moving and transporting patients, stocking supplies, and keeping wards tidy. Hospital ward assistants are also known as orderlies.

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Work activities

As a hospital ward assistant, you might:

  • transport patients in wheelchairs or on movable beds around the hospital
  • move medical equipment between wards, departments and theatres
  • maintain stocks of clean clothing and linen for patents
  • remove soiled clothing and linen items for cleaning
  • lift and turn patients
  • keep ward areas tidy throughout your shift
  • accompany patients who are ready to be discharged to a waiting area
  • transport diagnostic images, patient files and pharmacy items between wards and departments.
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Key skills and interests

To become a hospital ward assistant, you would need:

  • good physical fitness
  • to be able to lift heavy objects
  • a friendly, caring and empathetic manner
  • the ability to act calmly and quickly in emergencies
  • the ability to follow instructions
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to deal with sickness and distressing medical situations.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time job in a hospital you would work a standard number of hours per week, usually on a shiftwork basis, including nights, weekends and public holidays.

Conditions

You would wear a prescribed hospital uniform / garments. You would need to be able to deal with emotionally distressing situations.

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How to become an Hospital Ward Assistant?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a hospital ward assistant without formal qualifications. You would get some training on the job. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a qualification such a VET qualification in health support services or health services assistance.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment opportunities for hospital ward assistants is expected to grow strongly.

Continued growth in the number and size of public and private health care providers will sustain strong demand for the support services provided by hospital ward assistants. Technological developments including robotics may impact on some of the activities undertaken over time but is not anticipated to have a material impact during the next five years.

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