What is an Allied Health Assistant?

Allied Health Assistants (AHAs) are individuals trained to work under the delegation of a qualified health professional to assist with the delivery of allied health therapy, and so have the specialised knowledge and skills to implement this therapy effectively with clients, as prescribed by the client’s treating therapist. Our AHAs are a dynamic team of professionals who work closely under the delegation, guidance, and supervision of our allied health clinicians for delivery of a person-centered and effective therapeutic program. Our interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to healthcare allows our AHAs to support our clients as an extension of the allied health team with opportunities for increased frequency of therapy and/or reduced costs associated with therapy without a compromise upon the quality of care.

Who can Allied Health Assistants help?

An Allied Health Assistant’s skillset allows them to supervise and guide anyone with a therapy program designed and prescribed by a qualified health professional. Allied Health Assistants can work with people across the full health spectrum, from healthy populations to those at risk of developing a health condition, and those with existing health conditions such as:

Pathology domains covered by the services of Allied Health Assistants include:

  • Cancers
  • Cardiovascular
  • Kidney
  • Mental Health
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neurological
  • Persistent pain
  • Pulmonary/Respiratory
  • Any other conditions for which there is evidence that exercise or therapy can improve the client’s clinical status

Benefits of seeing an Allied Health Assistant

Engaging in support from an Allied Health Assistant can lead to greater and more effective engagement in therapy between sessions with the treating health professional. Greater engagement in therapy can therefore lead to:

Improvements in:

  • Balance and mobility
  • Bone density
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness and function
  • Cognition (concentration, memory, and thinking)
  • Coordination and dexterity
  • Confidence to move and do more safely
  • Emotional wellbeing, mood, and mental health (e.g. symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Emotional regulation skills
  • Energy levels
  • Flexibility and range of motion (ROM)
  • Functional capacity
  • Immune function
  • Independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) and occupations
  • Motivation for a healthy and meaningful lifestyle
  • Muscular Strength and Endurance
  • Posture and movement patterns
  • Pain management
  • Recovery timeframes following surgery and/or injury
  • Self-management of health, well-being, and quality of life
  • Sleep hygiene and quality
  • Social skills
  • Spasticity, stiffness, and contractures
  • Sports and athletic performance
  • Understanding of health condition/s and appropriate self-management
  • Weight loss

Reductions in:

  • Development and/or progression of chronic disease
  • Need for medication for management of health conditions
  • Need for invasive and expensive treatments such as surgery
  • Risk of falls, injury, and re-aggravation of existing injuries

Support in:

  • Goal setting for the ability to achieve important life goals
  • Healthy body composition management
  • Maintenance of a healthy, meaningful, and active lifestyle
  • Management of chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity

Use of AHA services is an efficient, timely, safe, and cost-effective way to engage in therapy. Allied health assistant services can be a fantastic solution for individuals with varying budgets to allow clinically recommended frequency of supports to occur, resulting in efficient, timely, safe, and cost-effective therapy that leads to optimal health and goal-related outcomes, regardless of waitlists and waiting times ordinarily associated with allied health services.

Allied Health assistants within the TLC team also prioritise collaboration, effective communication, and ongoing development and learning. As a result, other benefits associated with working with a TLC AHA include:

  • Improved continuity of care in provision of guidance and supervision in therapy
  • Working with an individual who has a strong interest specifically in supervising exercise and therapeutic interventions in clinical populations and therefore ongoing learning, development, and growth in this area of practice.
  • Close, collaborative, and professional relationship with the treating clinician due to the direct position of the Allied Health Assistant within the treating TLC interdisciplinary team. This includes exchange of key information to enable enhanced clinical oversight of the supervising allied health professional, as well as quick and direct communication to facilitate a resolution in potential challenges and/or barriers that may arise between sessions with the supervising Allied Health professional.
  • Specific training in skills relevant to exercise and therapy supervision in clinical populations, including but not limited to: goal oriented approaches to activity, clinical observation, motivational interviewing, exercise supervision, patient handling, coregulation and emotional support, clinical notetaking and intervention implementation. Therefore, the clinician is more likely to receive key information which can inform exercise prescription/programming and therapy interventions, enhancing effectiveness and safety.
  • Capacity to more regularly review therapy goals, changes in treatment, and/or client health.
  • Presence of clinical responsibilities and requirements in regard to risk management with Allied Health Assistant Support, and clinical responsibility remaining present with the treating clinician which maximizes client safety.

What is involved in an Allied Health Assistant session? 

A session with an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) involves completion of therapy prescribed and delegated by the treating therapist, but with the guidance, education, support, supervision, input, and encouragement from the Allied Health Assistant. Allied Health Assistants are familiarised with the therapy and given direct education and communication from/with the treating clinician themselves, which along with their own skills in therapy supervision, supports our clients to be able to engage in their home exercise/activity programs in between allied health sessions with makes their goals of therapy considerably more realistic and achievable. Allied Health Assistants are qualified to implement prescribed therapy which considers the interventions required by the individual, the level of monitoring required, and also the therapeutic “dosage” of the health intervention.

There are a wide range of types of therapy that an Allied Health Assistant can supervise/implement after being prescribed by a qualified health professional, including but not limited to:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology

Due to the diversity of therapy an AHA may assist with, a typical session with an AHA can vary drastically depending upon the health professional’s discipline and the interventions that the supervising health professional utilises and can include but is not limited to:

  • Supervision of exercise
  • Participation in games
  • Supported engagement in activities of daily living

Some clients will continue with their typical frequency of allied health clinician input with additional AHA sessions to supplement the current therapeutic work. Other individuals will reduce the frequency of allied health clinician input while maintaining an AHA session frequency that works towards their goals. The allied health clinician will remain constantly involved for consultation, ongoing assessment, clinical review, and therapy plan development and adjustments, to ensure established standards and requirements of clinical safety and quality of care are being maintained.

Allied Health Assistant services provided at Thriving Lives Co.

  • Clinic-based therapy sessions
  • Gym-based therapy sessions
  • Home-based therapy sessions
  • Hydrotherapy/Aquatic Therapy
  • Individual therapy involving:
    • Education
    • Exercise/therapy supervision
    • Encouragement and social support in therapy implementation
  • School-based therapy sessions
  • Telehealth

Our AHAs are available at a variety of our clinic locations throughout Far North Queensland as well as within the community by visiting homes, pools, gyms, and schools, in addition to telehealth [www.thrivinglives.com.au/telehealth/] to ensure that therapy delivery/supervision will occur in the location that supports realistic and meaningful change in the client’s life.

Our team of AHAs [www.thrivinglives.com.au/team/] are available at a variety of our clinic locations [www.thrivinglives.com.au/locations/] throughout Far North Queensland as well as within the community by visiting homes, pools, gyms, and schools, in addition to telehealth [www.thrivinglives.com.au/telehealth/] to ensure that therapy delivery/supervision will occur in the location that supports realistic and meaningful change in the client’s life.

Our team of AHAs are available at a variety of our clinic locations throughout Far North Queensland as well as within the community by visiting homes, pools, gyms, and schools, in addition to telehealth to ensure that therapy delivery/supervision will occur in the location that supports realistic and meaningful change in the client’s life.

Referral Pathways

Allied Health Assistance services can be funded by Australian compensable schemes/pathways including:

Through these compensable schemes, AHAs can support individuals to improve their functional capacity and participation in activities at home, school, work, and in the community.

What is special about a Thriving Lives Co. Allied Health Assistant?

  • We are all about empowering our clients to support them to be as independent in their personalised therapy as possible based on their needs and preferences. So, we work with everyone in our client’s lives to help support their development, autonomy, and independence.
  • We genuinely care about our clients and will commit the time required to truly understand our client’s needs to be able to deliver the most effective holistic, evidence-based healthcare for each individual.
  • We love what we do, which means when we are with our clients, we are having fun and doing everything in our power to help make it as fun and enjoyable as possible for everyone.
  • We appreciate that even though we are experts of human anatomy and physiology, our clients are the experts of their own health and life experiences, so we aim to speak less and listen more
  • We are humble and brave, so if we aren’t the right person to help or we don’t know how to help, we will refer our client to someone who can, or do more research and/or training to be able to help next time.
  • We are constantly reviewing the latest research to maintain our commitment to evidence-based practice to give ourselves and our clients the confidence that their healthcare is based upon the most reliable and valid information available to deliver the best care possible.
  • We all share a growth mindset so we love seeking out and receiving feedback and we take every opportunity we can to learn from our mistakes to become the best therapists that we can be.
  • We are constantly striving for excellence in the way we do things as a healthcare team, this is why we are always innovating and adapting to suit the needs of our clients and our community.
  • We really value teamwork and collaboration, and we are lucky enough to be able to work closely with a wide variety of skilled and experienced allied health professionals in our team to give our clients a broad interdisciplinary perspective and approach in their therapy.

Governance and Scope of Practice

All of our Allied Health Assistants work within the Queensland Government Allied Health Assistant Framework, as well as a role and individual specific scope of practice. All Allied Health Assistants possess either a Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance or the equivalent skills/certificates based on their work/educational background which demonstrate their possessing the required skill set for the position, in addition to being appropriately trained and supervised by the supervising Allied Health Professional where appropriate. Allied Health Assistants within the TLC team are given a clear outline of their responsibilities and when implementing therapy delegated by a qualified allied health professional, and possess all the necessary skills and qualifications necessary to effectively fulfill their role.

For more information regarding the scope of practice of an Allied Health Assistant, please see refer to the Allied Health Assistant Framework by the Queensland Government on their website.

Governance and Scope of Practice

All of our Allied Health Assistants work within the Queensland Government Allied Health Assistant Framework, as well as a role and individual specific scope of practice. All Allied Health Assistants possess either a Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance or the equivalent skills/certificates based on their work/educational background which demonstrate their possessing the required skill set for the position, in addition to being appropriately trained and supervised by the supervising Allied Health Professional where appropriate. Allied Health Assistants within the TLC team are given a clear outline of their responsibilities and when implementing therapy delegated by a qualified allied health professional, and possess all the necessary skills and qualifications necessary to effectively fulfill their role.

For more information regarding the scope of practice of an Allied Health Assistant, please see refer to the Allied Health Assistant Framework by the Queensland Government on their website.