Earlier this year, TalentEgg hosted Office Hours with Northern Health, an hour-long live chat with Northern Health Recruiter Ashley Ellerbeck.
Ashley is a young recruitment professional who started her own career with the Northern B.C. healthcare authority a few years ago and, as a result, is eggs-tremely passionate about helping students and recent graduates hatch their own careers in the healthcare sector.
During the live chat with Ashley, she answered as many of your questions about healthcare careers, opportunities with Northern Health and life in Northern B.C. as possible within the hour but, due to time constraints, some questions were still left unanswered.
Lucky for you, Ashley agreed to take even more time out of her busy schedule to answer those questions and publish them here on TalentEgg. Thanks Ashley!
(In case you were wondering: yes, everyone at Northern Health is as nice, friendly and helpful as she is. It’s a Northern B.C. thing!)
Does Northern Health offer any internships or summer jobs for students?
Ashley: We do have some specific project positions that come up from time to time but, for the most part, our summer positions are simply casuals that work mainly in the summer. Most of our vacation time coverage is required in the summer, so many of our casuals come back to Northern Health to work during the summers and then return to school in the fall. Keep an eye on our casual opportunities in your field of interest and ask about the specific hours with the hiring manager to see if their staffing needs can work with your schedule.
How can I translate my science degree that is more lab/research-focused into a career in the healthcare industry?
Ashley: You may want to look into the process for becoming a registered Lab Technologist, as we have many positions for that profession. Your additional education combined with some great experience could potentially move you into a management role within the department as well.
What experience and skill sets are required for Public Health or Health Promotion roles with Northern Health?
Ashley: A theoretical and practical understanding of a population health approach is essential for successful applicants to our Public Health department. This also includes areas of health such as early childhood development, education, social support network and economic status, to name a few. Experience can be sought in different ways, such as working as a Public Health Nurse, community development roles in a non-profit setting, or a publicly-funded setting such as social work.
Would retail pharmacy experience help me in getting a pharmacy job with Northern Health?
Ashley: Any pharmacy experience, including retail experience, is beneficial and will help in obtaining employment with Northern Health. We do prefer that Pharmacists have a hospital residency and currently offer two hospital residency positions each year, but additional experience in hospital or community is always an asset. If you would like more information on our residency program, see the official website of the British Columbia Pharmacy Practice Residency Program.
What positions do you offer for someone graduating with a health-related MBA?
Ashley: We have many excluded management positions within Northern Health that do not require a clinical background. A health-related MBA in combination with some great experience could set you up for a position within our administration department. Keep an eye on the job listings on our careers website under the categories of Clerical/Admin, Human Resources, and Management and Leadership.
Does Northern Health offer career opportunities with part-time hours?
Ashley: Absolutely! We have tons of full-time and part-time positions. Many of our employees also combine part-time positions so they can gain experience in a variety of areas. In fact, we have some employees who choose to work part-time over full-time so they can spend more time enjoying the great outdoor environment of Northern B.C. that includes a wide variety of multi-season activities. The affordability of the region is what attracts many people to northern B.C. as it allows you to work less and live more.
Which certifications are most in demand by healthcare employers like Northern Health?
Ashley: This is an easy one! Specialty-trained Nurses in Operating Room, Critical Care (Emergency Room/Acute Care/Intensive Care Unit) and Maternity are most in demand right now. Outside of nursing, Ultrasound Sonographers, Combined X-Ray/Laboratory Technicians and Physiotherapists are really needed right now and will most likely stay in high demand for years to come.
Recommended reading: Ashley recently helped a recent Physiotherapy grad relocate from Nova Scotia to Northern B.C. to start her career with Northern Health. Read the story.
Do you hire RPNs/LPNs or just RNs?
Ashley: We hire many RPNs and LPNs in addition to RNs. Many of our LPNs in particular start out as casual but tend to get lots of work and move into permanent positions within a few short months. RPNs have the opportunity to work with inpatients and outpatients and are in high demand in both Northwest and Northeast B.C.