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HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Assisting in Nursing Work in Acute Care)

National ID: HLT33115 State ID: AA72
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Are you interested in working in acute care settings?

Health Services Assistance is a physically demanding career which provides assistance to professional healthcare staff for the care of clients.

You will have direct contact with clients and assist them with personal care, communication, mobility and rehabilitation. You will be required to implement programs and procedures to maximise client well being. Acting as an assistant to a nurse or medical practitioner, your working environment can be varied. You may need to work shift hours and will need to use equipment designed for manual handling. This course has a focus on mental health and includes Department of Health units for acute care settings.


  • interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
  • organise personal work priorities and development
  • work with diverse people
  • recognise healthy body systems
  • comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
  • work place health and safety


In order to make an informed choice about the suitability of this course, you must take into account the essential skills and knowledge required to undertake this study.

  • ability to work well with others and good communication skills
  • good time management skills and the ability to prioritise tasks
  • comfortable working in a personal care environment
  • caring, respectful attitude towards others

This course requires medical test, COVID-19 vaccination, police clearance and working with children check prior to work placement. See the important information tab for instructions. 

School Leaver Non-School Leaver AQF
OLNA or NAPLAN 9 Band 8 C Grades in Year 10 English and Maths or equivalent Certificate I or Certificate II

Minimum age for entry is 18 years of age. To complete this course students must successfully complete a clinical placement. Industry states minimum age for Mental Health placement is 18 years of age.

Explore the core skills required to see if you will be successful in study in this course and work in this industry.

  • Students need to purchase the text book for their first class.
    Visit the book suppliers website in a new tab) and enter the number into the search bar: ISBN 9780170387026 (Use the discount code SAVE10 to get a 10% discount).
  • Uniform is a requirement for this course and will be discussed on your first day.
    Uniform is navy blue scrub top and pants, with closed in shoes.

Is this the right course for you?

Have you got what it takes to be successful in this career? Our Core Skills guide lists the skills and attributes necessary to study and work in this field.

Core Skills Required 

Core Skill Requirements (Inherent Requirements) 

To work in the industry area identified, the following skills needs to be considered; 

Observational skills – this includes the ability to: 
•    notice changes in people’s behavior, ability and the environment 
•    identify safety hazards and risks 
•    observe and understand non-verbal cues (e.g. facial expressions, body language) 
•    identify signs of verbal distress and / or aggression 

Communication skills – this includes the ability to: 
•    communicate effectively with a range of people (e.g. clients, families, co-workers) 
•    use appropriate language and respect when working with people from different cultures 
•    listen attentively to what is being said 
•    read and understand written information 
•    understand and follow written and verbal instructions 
•    understand and respond to verbal and non- verbal communication 
•    write comprehensive communication appropriate to the situation 
•    use technology to communicate (e.g. computer for reports, emails, documents) 
•    communicate and work with other people as a team 

Technical and / or Motor skills – this includes the ability to: 
•    deal with physical demands of manual tasks (e.g. bending, squatting, kneeling, crouching, repetitive movements, carrying, reaching) 
•    be on your feet for extended periods of time, both walking and standing 
•    grasp, push, turn and manipulate objects 
•    use equipment and other technology (e.g. computers, push wheelchairs, manual handling equipment) 
•    transport people around in wheelchairs, beds, trolley’s 
•    have sufficient vision to safely perform the required range of skills 
•    hear and differentiate sounds that may alert you of a problem (e.g. alarms, calls ) 
•    deal with body fluids (e.g. urine, feces, blood) \

Cognitive / intellectual skills – this includes the ability to: 
•    gather, understand, organize, recall and communicate information 
•    use own judgment / basic problem solving skills (e.g. to respond to immediate safety risks) 
•    understand other people’s perspectives / opinions and respect their choices 
•    understand and use math’s effectively (e.g. measurements, basic calculations, 24 hour clock) 
•    maintain a sufficient level of concentration to complete an activity / task 
•    be attentive in interaction with others ( e.g. to identify risks, to identify changes) 
•    perform tasks in a safe manner and within reasonable timeframes Behavioural and social skills – this includes the ability to: 
•    demonstrate patience and willingness to work with a variety people 
•    able to work under pressure 
•    demonstrate professional behaviour (e.g. punctuality, maintaining confidentiality and respect personal boundaries) 
•    control your emotions and reactions and withhold personal opinions 
•    tolerate close proximity with individuals 
•    interact with all genders 
•    adapt to change 
•    take responsibility for own actions – including use of social media 
•    comply with legal requirements of industry (e.g. criminal history check) 

Attendance in-class

You will be expected to attend class 2 days per week over one semester. Students can expect to attend campus for Tuesday and Thursday classes, 8am to 2.30pm.

At-home study

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 12 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research. There is an online reading component to this course and as such, you should be computer literate and have available computer and internet access.

You will need to have the basic technical requirements for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers during library hours.

Work placement

This course includes a compulsory practical placement at a health care facility (with a mental health focus) during the second term of the program for a 3 x 1-week blocks. You must be available to attend all placement dates and times given by the facilities. Please note placement will be held from Monday to Friday (in week blocks) and you may be rostered on morning or afternoon shifts. Placement dates are scheduled on a rostered system over a period of five weeks. Please note, your placement could be held at a facility up to 45 minutes drive from campus. Transport to placement and parking costs are at the students own expense.

Over the five week rostering period when students are not rostered on placement, students are expected to attend face to face classes.

What you need for your first day of class

On your first day you should bring your SM TAFE confirmation enrolment receipt, your student ID, stationery (pens, exercise book, highlighters) and wear enclosed footwear.

A uniform is a requirement for this course. This is to be worn every practical lab session. This requirement will be discussed on the first day. The uniform consists of a navy blue scrub top and pants with closed in shoes. 

There is a compulsory text purchase prior to class start date. This is available from Enter this number into the search bar - ISBN 9780170387026 and choose either the paperback ($107.95) or eBook ($64.95). When purchasing use the discount code SAVE10. You will receive a 10% discount on checkout.

You will be required to have a medical test, vaccinations and obtain a Working With Children Check and a National Police Clearance prior to a supervised work placement. 

For more information visit: in a new tab) in a new tab)

Mandatory vaccination requirements

This course requires you to undertake a mandatory work placement with an employer associated with an industry outlined in the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy. This means that you must be triple dose vaccinated prior to your work placement.  For the latest information on vaccine requirements for students visit our COVID-19 update page.

A medical screening and further immunisations form will be given to you at orientation.

Please note this list should be used as a guide only as job titles and qualification requirements may vary between organisations.

Work placement is mandatory for completion of this course. SM TAFE will arrange a suitable work placement within industry for you which will involve your attendance at a workplace.

To access free career planning and job search assistance, visit the Jobs and Skills Centres page.

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Click on your preferred campus and study mode below to get started with your application.

Semester 1, 2023

Murdoch - Full time - On Campus

Duration 1 Semester
When Semester 1, 2023
Where Murdoch
How On Campus

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