Health Care Assistant Kaiāwhina Haumanu Hauora/Kaimahi Atawhai

Health care assistants support nurses and care for people in private homes, hospitals, general practices or rest homes.

Health care assistants may do some or all of the following:

  • help patients or clients wash, dress and eat
  • help with laundry, housework and shopping
  • make sure patients or clients take the correct medicine
  • help clients attend appointments
  • help patients rehabilitate in areas such as social skills and walking.

Physical Requirements

Health care assistants need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong, with no back problems, as the work can be physically demanding.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for health care assistants includes:

  • work in rest homes, nursing homes and hospitals
  • work with families, the elderly or people with disabilities
  • work helping people, or customer service
  • first aid
  • cleaning and housekeeping.

Personal Qualities

Health care assistants need to be:

  • patient and tolerant
  • practical, organised and responsible
  • friendly, helpful and compassionate
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to relate well to people from different cultures
  • skilled at listening and communicating
  • able to cope with stressful and emotional situations.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for health care assistants includes:

  • work in rest homes, nursing homes and hospitals
  • work with families, the elderly or people with disabilities
  • work helping people, or customer service
  • first aid
  • cleaning and housekeeping.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but English, maths and biology to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain relevant experience and skills.

Health Care Assistants can earn around $19-$25 per hour per year.

Health care assistants may progress into management or administration roles. With further training, they may become enrolled or registered nurses, or phlebotomists (who collect blood samples).

Health care assistants can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Health Care Assistant
Health care assistants support nurses working with patients in aged residential care or medical practices.
Home and Community Support Worker
Home and community support workers help clients with bathing, dressing, eating, laundry and housework in private homes.
Health Care Assistant

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