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Aboriginal Health Worker Role

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (ATSIHWs) provide primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

The role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (ATSIHWs) is crucial to improving health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They play a vital role in the primary health care workforce, providing clinical and primary care for individuals, families and community groups.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers across Australia work in a variety of environments. While a large majority are employed in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) or the Government Health Sector, many also work within mainstream services such as general practices and other non-government organisations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker roles exist in metropolitan, regional and remote. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency (AHPRA). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner is a protected title under section 113 of the National Law.

The Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Care (Practice) is the qualification for registration as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner.

There are a number of titles used to describe the job roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers. These titles vary significantly across Australia and may or may not describe the specialty of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker or their level of training.

The following list is an indication of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce have various roles including:

  • Health Worker (Generalist)
  • Outreach Worker
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Family Health Worker
  • Sexual Health Worker
  • Education Officer
  • Hospital Liaison Officer
  • Drug and Alcohol Worker
  • Environmental Health Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Healthy Living Worker
  • Vascular Health Worker
  • Pharmacy Health Worker
  • Maternal and Perinatal Health Worker
  • Otitis Media Health Worker
  • Nutrition Health Worker
  • Eye care coordinator
  • Primary Health Care Practice Manager

*This definition is from the Community Services and Health Services Skills Council.

 

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