Allied health is a broad field in health care. Members of the allied health team provide care for patients and their families and help people improve their physical and psychological wellbeing.
Allied health professional services can include providing advice and education to assist people to prevent or to manage health conditions, providing assessments or tests, and developing treatment programs with the patient and their family, and other members of the healthcare team.
Allied health professions include occupational therapy, podiatry, physiotherapy, speech pathology, optometry, pharmacy, dietetics, social work, exercise physiology, audiology, and psychology. Becoming an allied health professional requires a university qualification, generally a Bachelor or Masters degree.
Allied health assistants are key members of the allied health team who support allied health professionals and provide direct client care. Allied health assistants complete a Certificate III or Certificate IV qualification. In an Allied Health Assistant role you could work in a pharmacy, an optometry, physiotherapy or podiatry practice, a hospital, school or aged care facility. So what do you like? Is it feet, eyes, the mind, healthy eating, getting people moving, or something else? Do you like working with children, new mothers, older people or other groups? Do you enjoy doing technical tasks and using equipment and technology, connecting with people and making a difference to their quality of life?
- Allied health assistants can work with a range of allied health professionals, or focus on one area such as dietetics.
- Optical dispensers work in optometry practices and fit and repair optical appliances such as spectacles and spectacle lenses.
Below is a pathway that gives you some options if you are interested in working in allied health. Everyone has their own journey. Where you start and where you end is up to you!
Thinking about getting started in allied health? Here are some potential Certificate III qualifications for allied health assistance roles.
Potential Certificate IV qualifications for allied health assistance roles
With this qualification you could work as an:
With this qualification you could work as an Allied Health Assistant with a broad range of skills or within one of these specialised areas:
- Physiotherapy Assistance
- Occupational Therapy Assistance
- Podiatry Assistance
- Speech Pathology Assistance
- Community Rehabilitation Assistance
- Nutrition and Dietetics Assistance
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Other roles you could consider in community pharmacy are working as a pharmacy retail manager or dispensary assistant. These require study at the Certificate IV level.