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Investigate All The Career Options At Health Centres To Find Out Where You Fit, Says Trillium HR Manager


As Canada’s health care needs increase along with its aging population, health care centres are innovating to meet the demand.

One of those is Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga and West Toronto, Ont.

“New employees can start to feel part of the team well before their start date by accessing the Trillium Online Welcome website, where they can find out what to expect and how to get ready for their first day at Trillium.” —Karen Dobbie, human resources manager, Trillium Health Centre

Trillium is an acute care hospital, offering comprehensive community-based programs and several regional programs – advanced cardiac, neurosciences (including stroke and surgery), sexual assault/domestic violence and mental health – in addition to its spine institute and advanced orthopaedics.

Trillium human resources manager Karen Dobbie says that Trillium traditionally hires new grads for its medicine and surgical units, but over the past two years has introduced new grads into its critical care areas such as the intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department with great success.

The hospital has also hired new grads in two of its regional programs, neuro surgery and stroke.

We asked Karen about the new grad experience at Trillium and why students and recent grads should start their careers with Trillium.

Q. What is the student and new graduate experience like at Trillium?
A. At Trillium, we participate fully in the new graduate guarantee nursing program and offer new grads up to six months of orientation on a unit with most new grads obtaining a full-time position at the end of this orientation. We have a dedicated preceptor who mentors and monitors the clinical practice of the new grad, and our educators conduct in-services in order to assist with the clinical development of these new health care professionals.

All positions at Trillium have a department orientation which assists with familiarizing new hires to the operational functioning of the department. There is also a full-day organization orientation which familiarizes new employees to our mission, vision and values, our strategic initiatives, and our customer service standards.

New employees can start to feel part of the team well before their start date by accessing the Trillium Online Welcome website, where they can find out what to expect and how to get ready for their first day at Trillium, what to expect the first 30 days, etc., and to familiarize themselves with the overall organization at their own pace from the comfort of their home.

Q. What attitudes and values should students and new grads possess in order to be hired by Trillium?
A. We expect that all our staff will adhere to our values which are respect, communication, safety, accountability, courtesy, privacy, commitment to co-workers, and appearance.

We want to foster a culture of innovation and leadership. We want Trillium to be a place where people grow, create, inspire and be inspired as leaders making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

Our employees’ commitment to achieving high-quality care, optimum patient safety and superior patient outcomes continues to drive our reputation as a leader in the delivery of cutting-edge services and best practices.

Q. Is there anything that a student or new grad could include in his or her resumé, cover letter or application that would really catch your eye?
A. We like to see that our employees have had involvement within their communities, i.e., any volunteering they may do. As well we are looking for individuals who can exhibit leadership abilities and innovative thinking.

We want to see that an individual could align themselves to our five strategic priorities:

  • Outstanding people
  • Quality by design
  • Operational excellence
  • Integration and partnerships
  • Learning and innovation

Q. Aside from their program at school, what’s the best way for students to figure out where they fit in health care?
A. Students need to investigate career options which are available at health centres. Most times students only think about health centres as having nurses and doctor, but there are many other career options as well. We have staff who clean, porters who transport patients, a finance department, public relations, technologists, microbiologists, and many other options.

We connect with schools through career days as well as offer co-op placements to provide workplace exposure to health care career options. We also participate in the national Take Our Kids to Work Day which provides an opportunity to see what career options exist within a health centre.

Q. Health care workers are in demand across Canada – why should students think about starting their careers at Trillium?
A. As an employer we have received many awards for being an innovative leader not only in clinical practice but also in being an employer which provides a great workplace environment. We recently were awarded a platinum Quality Healthcare Workplace Award by the Ontario Hospital Association in recognition of our positive workplace environment.

One of our strategic priorities is learning and innovation and we are committed to providing ongoing learning opportunities for our staff.

We are currently academically affiliated with the University of Toronto and, as we move through the accreditation process, we will be moving from a community hospital to a teaching facility over the next few years.

I could go on and on but our website provides lots of information on why Trillium is viewed internationally as a leader in health care.

Q. What advice do you have for students who are poised to enter the health care industry in the next few years?
A. You have many opportunities available to you. There are exciting times in health care as the industry becomes more technologically advanced. We expect that with the retiring of the baby boomer generation that career opportunities and chances for advancement will increase.

Q. Is there anything you want Canadian students and new grads to know about Trillium?
A. In 2010 we launched our People Promise campaign which is a promise we made to our employees. Our People Promise: You Matter outlines what we as an organization promise to provide to you under our Total Rewards program. We respect our people’s time, contribution and dedication to our patients and to our health centre by offering them an innovative Total Rewards program that allows our staff to lead the quality of life they want.

We know that the work and volunteer environment we create here at Trillium is important, not only for retaining the outstanding people we already have, but also for attracting new talent to our hospital. We believe that outstanding people generate amazing results.

Trillium Health CentreFor more information about starting your health care career with Trillium Health Centre, check out Trillium’s profile on TalentEgg or visit

Focus on Healthcare

About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.