Office Hours with Northern Health – Discover How to Start Your Career in Healthcare!

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On January 26th, we held an Office Hours with an expert recruiter at Northern Health! Read on to find out how you can start your career in Healthcare with Northern Health!

TalentEgg
Hey Students and New Grads! Welcome to our Office Hours with Northern Health! My name is Akemi and I’ll be moderating our chat today.

TalentEgg
And now without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest expert from Northern Health!

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi there, my name is Andrew and I am a Candidate Relationship Liaison (Recruiter) for Northern Health. My job is to connect with talented healthcare professionals and guide them into fulfilling careers in our organization. I look forward to speaking with you all today!

TalentEgg
Thank you so much! Here’s our first question.

Christine, a Health Policy Student at York University asks:
“What positions are suitable for public policy or health policy majors?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Christine. Thanks for taking the time to join us! While I can’t say what positions you could apply for with this credential specifically, I would advise you to visit our external posting site regularly and look for positions that match your education and interest. Many times in positions of this nature it will be at the hiring manager’s discretion to determine the relevance of a given credential, and as such I cannot direct you to specific postings, but I can say that there are roles in the organization that would enable you to utilize your skills and knowledge. Thanks again for your question, and good luck with the rest of your studies and in your future career! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website.

Hina, a Biomedical Engineering student at Centennial College asks:
“Are there any opportunities for research lab technicians with your company?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Hina. Thanks so much for taking the time to join Northern Health for our Office Hour today! We definitely have opportunities throughout the organization for Laboratory Technicians. That said, these positions are in patient care settings as opposed to research facilities, and as such the focus will be on analysis and not on research. If you would like more information on these positions, please visit our external posting site. If you are not interested in this type of work, I would recommend that you look into opportunities in more academic settings, as these will likely be more research oriented. All the best in your future pursuits! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website.

Maryan, a Biology student at Ryerson University asks:
“As a biology student, what kind of positions can I work towards and apply for in your organization?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Maryan. Thanks for your interest in Northern Health! While there are no roles within the Health Authority that specifically require a degree in Biology alone, many Environmental Health Officers and Public Health Inspectors have this education. To be qualified for these roles, you would need to also have education in Environmental Health and become certified by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Alternatively, there may be opportunities to carry your biology education over into medical school in order to become a physician: to determine eligibility for such you would need to connect with an educational institution. I hope this answer addresses your question! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website , and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site .

Sarah, a student at the University of Toronto asks:
“Do you offer financial assistance with relocation?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Sarah, thanks for joining us today! Northern Health does indeed offer relocation assistance for certain positions, depending on the profession and where the job is located. This allowance can range from $2500 up to $10,000 within Canada.

Kaytlin, a Psychology student at the University of Toronto asks:
“What types of positions are available for new graduates?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Kaytlin, great to chat with you! We do have career opportunities for psych majors, primarily working in our Mental Health & Addictions areas. These positions are typically titled MH&A Clinician, although they may be posted under other titles including Social Program Officer. For current listings, please visit our external posting site.

Jasnoor, a Health Administration student at Northern Lights College asks:
“What type of skills and qualifications do you look for in a health administrator for a hospital?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Jasnoor. Thanks for your inquiry! Having a post-degree diploma in Health Administration would qualify you to take on a role as a coordinator or an administrative assistant. To succeed in these roles, you would need to ensure that you can communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing, and that you are proficient with all Microsoft Office applications. These positions will include a large amount of networking, both externally and at all levels within the organization, so you will need to have the ability to develop effective working relationships with stakeholders in a wide variety of roles. For a coordinator role, you would also need to have previous leadership experience in a clinical setting in order to be considered qualified. I hope this addresses your question, and thanks again for being a part of Northern Health’s office hour today! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site.

Amol, a Health Sciences student at the University of Ottawa asks:
“How can I start building a career in healthcare management?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Amol. Thanks for your interest in Northern Health, and for taking the time to join us today! The vast majority of our healthcare managers come from a clinical background, be that in Nursing or another healthcare discipline. The first step in moving toward a management role would be to gain leadership in a clinical setting, as a supervisor or team lead. Once you have such experience, you would next pursue a Master’s degree either in your clinical discipline or in a related field. At this point, you would have the education and experience to be considered for a role in healthcare management. I hope this answer addresses your question, and thanks again for joining us today! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site.

Tokunboh, a Project Management student at the University of Portsmouth asks:
“How can I use my project management skills in the healthcare field?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Tokunboh. Thanks for taking the time to be a part of Northern Health’s office hours! We are always looking for talented professionals with Project Management background to take on challenges in the organization in a variety of areas. As an organization with a strong focus on innovation (which is one of our four core values, along with Respect, Collaboration, and Empathy) Northern Health has many projects underway at any given time, which gives rise to a strong demand for project management professionals. These projects often focus on quality and process improvement, or in the IT department. If you have background and interest in IT, opportunities for project managers are abundant in this sector of the organization. These positions range from entry level to more senior roles, dependant on skills and experience. If you are not interested in IT, I would recommend learning as much as you can about process and quality improvement. Northern Health undertakes many projects to improve the quality of care we provide to our patients, as well as the processes we follow to deliver that care. Specifically, the organization heavily utilizes LEAN for Healthcare methodology, as well as the Model for Improvement.

Further information about quality and process improvement in Northern Health can be found here. Beyond these areas, opportunities may arise sporadically on wards or in areas like HR, but these are much less common. If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site. Thanks again for taking the time to be a part of our Office Hours Tokunboh, and I hope that I have answered your question!

Fereza, a student at Ryerson University asks:
“What kind of nursing opportunities does your organization offer?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Fereza. Thanks for joining us in our Office Hour! Northern Health offers many exciting opportunities in nursing, and we are always looking for talented nurses to join our team! Essentially, you can join Northern Health as a new grad either as a general nurse in a Medical/Surgical environment or as a specialty nurse if you have completed the required training for your specialty of interest. Due to high demand for specialty nurses, there are more regular employment opportunities available to new grads who have specialty training: If you are a general nurse, it is more likely that you will begin as a casual employee, although some new grads are hired directly into regular roles, typically in smaller worksites. Specialties that we are actively seeking qualified candidates for include Emergency, Labour and Delivery, Intensive Care and Operating Room. Thanks again for your question Fereza, I hope I have answered it fully. If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site external posting site.

Sandy, a Biology student at the University of Guelph asks:
“What types of professional development opportunities does your company offer?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Sandy, Thanks for your question! At Northern Health, we pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. A big part of that is providing our employees with the support and opportunities for growth that they require to be fulfilled both as people and as professionals. As such, we offer a variety of learning opportunities that are available to our staff that help them develop both clinical competencies and non-clinical skillsets, to ensure that their potential is realized as fully as possible.

Dina, a Psychology student at the University of Manitoba asks:
“What types of positions are suitable for psychology majors at your organization?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Dina. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, you would be eligible to apply for a Social Program Officer position with Northern Health. These roles primarily work in the Mental Health and Addictions area, often as members of Inter-Professional Teams in a Primary Care / Integrated Health Services model. Integrated Health Care is a new model of coordinated health care delivery with the patient at the centre, that is designed to increase the quality of care and ultimately result in better health outcomes. Quality of care can be increased if different health care providers work together to create a system that patients can access and move through with ease to get the care they need. By providing access to teams comprised of a variety of healthcare disciplines early in treatment, fewer patients will require acute care services.

Beyond these opportunities, should you wish to take further education in fields such as clinical counseling or social work, there could potentially be a wide variety of employment options available to you. Thanks for your question, and all the best to you in your education and your career! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site.

Tunde, a Health Informatics student at York University asks:
“From your perspective, what are the job prospects like in the field of health informatics?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Tunde, great question! Health Infomatics, and Information Technology in general, are rapidly evolving fields, and as such offer constantly changing opportunities and challenges. Northern Health is committed to providing the highest level of care to our patients, and that begins with ensuring that our healthcare professionals have access to the best, most current data and information available to support their practice. As such, I think that we will always have a constant need to recruit and retain top talent in this area, making career prospect strong for the foreseeable future.

Yousra, a Psychology student at Trent University asks:
“As a psychology grad, how can I connect with and become a part of your company?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Yousra. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, you would be eligible to apply for a Social Program Officer position with Northern Health. These roles primarily work in the Mental Health and Addictions area, often as members of Inter-Professional Teams in a Primary Care / Integrated Health Services model. Integrated Health Care is a new model of coordinated health care delivery with the patient at the centre, that is designed to increase the quality of care and ultimately result in better health outcomes. Quality of care can be increased if different health care providers work together to create a system that patients can access and move through with ease to get the care they need. By providing access to teams comprised of a variety of healthcare disciplines early in treatment, fewer patients will require acute care services. Beyond these opportunities, should you wish to take further education in fields such as clinical counseling or social work, there could potentially be a wide variety of employment options available to you. Thanks for your question, and all the best to you in your education and your career! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site.

Meredith, a Health Studies student at Brock University asks:
“What types of community health opportunities does your company offer?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Meredith. Thanks for your interest in Northern Health! As a provincial health authority, Northern Health is responsible for the delivery of all levels of healthcare services to communities throughout our region. As such, we offer opportunities in a broad array of community health based settings and roles. These encompass many different healthcare disciplines and fields of practice, with specialization in specific areas being a key component for certain roles. Right now is an exciting time in our community services area, as we are in the process of transitioning to an integrated health services model in the provision of primary care. By providing access to multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professional in the primary care stage, Northern Health seeks to create a system in which patient centred care is delivered more effectively, with better outcomes and reduced reliance on acute care services. This transition has created many exciting opportunities for professionals in a variety of roles to practice in a community health setting! Thanks again for your question Meredith, I hope I have answered it fully for you. If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our
external posting site.

Abraham, a student at Moi University asks:
“Do you offer any positions for international students?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Abraham. Thanks for taking the time to engage with Northern Health today! We do have opportunities for international students, but there is a process involved to ensure that you are eligible for employment. First, you will need to provide proof of your eligibility to work in Canada by submitting a work permit. This will entitle you to work in Canada, but you should be aware that there are other important qualifications, specifically a class 5 driver’s license and the ability to communicate effectively in English both verbally and in writing, that can impact you prospects for employment with Northern Health. If you do not have a valid driver’s license, I strongly encourage you to begin the process now as you must progress through the 3 step Graduated Licensing Program of Learners permit ( “L” ), New Driver’s permit ( “N” ), and finally the Class 5 license before you will be able to work in many roles. This process takes a minimum of 3 years to complete (1 year as a Learner under direct supervision, followed by 2 years as a New Driver with no accidents or infractions). The work permit will also require you to work a certain number of hours within the time that it is valid in order to remain eligible to work in Canada thereafter, at which time you will need to apply for another permit of for permanent residency status. More information on his process is available here.

If you are being educated outside Canada, then your credential will need to be evaluated and determined to be equivalent to a Canadian credential in order to be accepted by the licensing body for your discipline. Information about this process will be available on the website of the licensing body. Once the credentialing process is completed, you will need to complete the process of gaining a work permit in order to be eligible to work in Canada (see link above for more information). Thanks again for your question Abraham, and I hope my answer addresses it adequately! If you would like to learn more about Northern Health, please visit our website, and to browse current career opportunities please see our external posting site.

Alicia, a student asks:
“Do you offer support for those who would be relocating?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Alicia, glad you could make it to our Office Hour! Northern Health does provide relocation support to candidates accepting positions that meet certain criteria for being difficult to fill. These criteria include work site location, profession, and duration of posting without qualified applicants. If you are the successful applicant to a position that is deemed difficult to fill, you would be eligible for between $2500 and $10,000 in relocation assistance based on your location and the nature of the role.

Nicole, a student asks:
“Do you have any programs specifically for new grads?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Nicole, Northern Health offers many opportunities for new grads in a variety of healthcare disciplines. We actively seek to support the development of our employees, and will support them in the pursuit of specific specialty training and in the development of competencies related to their profession.

Cisse, a Nursing student at Durham College asks:
“Aside from experience, what do you look for in candidates for nursing positions?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Cisse. Thanks for joining us for our Office Hour today! Besides experience, communication is probably the most important non-clinical skill that we look for in candidates for nursing positions. The ability to communicate effectively both with patients and team members is crucial to your success as a nurse. Additionally, if you are interested in becoming a specialty nurse, there are specific training and educational requirements for each specialty that must be met in order for you to practice in that environment.

Marina, a student asks:
“Does Northern Health have part-time positions that will allow me to work while I’m still in school?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Marina, great question! Northern Health does have many opportunities for both part-time and casual work that would allow you to complete further education while working. I should note however that the availability of roles in a given profession is impossible to forecast, so I can’t promise that there will be part-time work available at any particular time, but you can always visit our external posting site to browse current postings.

AJ, a student asks:
“In your opinion, what are the benefits of living in Northern BC?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi AJ, I’m glad you asked that! I have been living in Northern BC for most of my life, and I will likely never leave. There are many reasons for this, but 3 really stand out for me: Affordability, Lifestyle, and Adventure! In most markets in Northern BC, you can afford to own a home rather than rent on a starting salary. This is a huge factor for many people who choose to come to the north, as markets in the south are often rent only for all but the top earning percentages. In addition to this, I have never had to drive more than 10 minutes to get to work, and the drive is easy, not a high-stress, gridlocked nightmare. I get these benefits without sacrificing culture too, as my community is home to many unique shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. But most of all for me, as an avid mountain biker I am so close to trails and adventure that I would never think of leaving, and this would be true for hikers, paddlers, campers, and anyone who loves the great outdoors!

Hina, a Biomedical Engineering student at Centennial College asks:
“What qualifications does Northern Health look for in candidates applying for an internship or a co-op position in the field of a biomedical engineering technician?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Hina, thanks for your question. Unfortunately, at this time we do not offer internships or co-ops in this field. Our only co-op program at this time is in Pharmacy, but this may change in the future.

Brent, a student asks:
“Are there any concerns for meeting service demands, such as routine blood work and other basic lab testing, for rural areas of BC, such as Haida Gwaii and other remote areas?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Brent, thanks for joining us today! There can certainly be challenges in service delivery and capacity in some of our more remote sites: By their very nature, they are more isolated and have reduced access to resources of larger facilities. With that being said, every possible effort is made by Northern Health to ensure that the standard of care provided to our patients is not compromised, regardless of where they live within our region.

Rafik, a student asks:
“I understand that there are a lot nursing related positions for Northern Health. As someone currently striving to become a paramedic, are there any opportunities in that field that Northern Health looks for?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Rafik, Northern Health does not directly employ paramedics: I would recommend that you visit the BC Ambulance Service website, or search for private emergency services providers in the community that you are interested in.

Tamara, a student asks:
“What’s the the most common mistake you see on resumes?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Tamara, great question. As a recruiter, I look first and foremost for the core qualifications required to do the job. These should be presented first and foremost in your resume, and the resume should be kept as clean, well organized, and concise as possible. I personally would never submit a resume over 3 pages in length, and the most pertinent information will always be featured at the top of the first page, in bold, and clearly worded. Also, take the time to create a resume for the position you are applying for: Saying that your objective is to gain employment with an employer other that the one you are applying to is not a good look, and while it may not get you immediately screened out it could stack the deck against you should you have the opportunity to interview.

Jonah, a student asks:
“What soft skills do you look for in a Pharmacy Technician application?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Jonah, thanks for taking the time to joining our Office Hour! The number one soft skill I would look for in a tech application (or any other field, to be honest) is communication. If you cannot communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, this is a huge flag because it can compromise the care provided to patients. To demonstrate this, take the time to edit your resume before you submit, not just for spelling but also for readability. Second, you must be able to work effectively in a team. This involves a lot of sub-skills, including communication (see the theme here?) and conflict resolution, among others.

Phil, a student asks:
“How many people work for Northern Health?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Phil, good to talk to you today. At this time, Northern Health employs approximately 8000 people throughout Northern BC in all areas of healthcare provision and support services.

Matthew, a student asks:
“Do you know if Northern Health has any research based positions surrounding immunology?”

Andrew, Northern Health
Hi Matthew, thanks for joining us! Northern Health generally does not engage heavily in research, as this tends to be more the realm of academia. With that said, there are positions in the health sciences area that do fairly extensive research on population health, and this may include immunology. I would recommend checking our external posting site and looking for roles that you think would be a good fit for you!

TalentEgg
We’re approaching the end of our Office Hours with Northern Health! Andrew – before we go, do you have a final piece of advice for our Students and New Grads?

Andrew, Northern Health
The best advice I can offer is to check the postings frequently. If there are no positions available today, this does not mean that there won’t be tomorrow: Check out our website and external posting site, get to know a bit about the community, and apply, apply, apply!

TalentEgg
And that’s a wrap! Thank you to our guest experts from Northern Health and to our audience for joining us today! Follow TalentEgg on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest updates on how to hatch an egg-citing career in Healthcare with Northern Health!

Want to learn more about Northern Health? Check out their Employer Page!

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About the author

Akemi Liyanage Akemi Liyanage is a Content and Community Coordinator at TalentEgg. Helping millennials get on their feet and rise through the world as successful professionals is the reason she gets out of bed every morning. Tweet her your career questions, thoughts and ideas at @akemiliyanage.