An Allied Health Assistant (AHA) is someone who works in allied health settings, assisting Allied Health Professionals. This can include helping directly – providing supervised therapy sessions, or indirectly by creating resources. Allied Health Assistants can work across a variety of different allied health areas, or they might work in one specific area, such as Speech Pathology.
Who are Allied Health Assistants?
There are many ways to become an Allied Health Assistant. People who are AHAs in Speech Pathology clinics may:
- have completed a Certificate 4 in Allied Health Assistance
- be studying Speech Pathology at University
- be a teacher’s aide
- be a retired special education teacher
All the Allied Health Assistants at Harrison Speech Pathology are current Speech Pathology students at the University of Newcastle.
What can an Allied Health Assistant do?
AHAs assist professionals and clients in achieving their goals. They can provide therapy sessions under the guidance and supervision of a qualified professional and create resources to use in therapy sessions. AHAs can suggest ideas for games to play in sessions with clients to achieve their therapy goals, but all services and therapy provided by an Allied Health Assistant is always approved by the supervising clinician.
What can’t an Allied Health Assistant do?
Allied Health Professionals guide AHAs and instruct them on what goals to focus on and what activities to complete in therapy sessions with clients. Some tasks that an AHA is not suitable or qualified to do include:
- Conducting formal assessments
- Making a client diagnosis
- Creating new therapy plans
- Selecting clients for assessment or intervention
- Changing the current treatment plan
- Independently writing reports
- Discharging clients from treatment
Should I see an allied health assistant?
AHAs support the delivery of appropriate Speech Pathology services as determined by a Speech Pathologist and can assist in clients obtaining their desired frequency of therapy services. If you wish to have more therapy sessions, an AHA may be a great addition to your therapy team to allow you to receive extra therapy appointments.
If you are interested in including an Allied Health Assistant in your therapy team contact Harrison Speech Pathology today.