In Canada, the work of healthcare professionals is demanding and expanding – naturally, there are a few career choices that are especially popular among aspiring industry professionals.
The TalentEgg team has come up with a list of the most popular healthcare careers pursued by students and recent grads. Check it out!
Registered Nurse (RN)
A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has successfully graduated with a baccalaureate degree from a nursing program at a university or college (usually in collaboration with another university). They will have also completed a licensing exam in order to practice. In Canada, licensing is regulated provincially – nurses are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). This typically takes 4 years to complete.
If you are a Registered Nurse, there are a few career avenues you can take:
Direct Nursing is probably the most common – these nurses provide their services to individual patients, families and groups. They are responsible for coordinating their healthcare and offering support during self-care.
Research nurses are also common – they review health-care practices, test hypotheses, and make recommendations.
Nurse Educators are responsible for guiding other nurses as they care for patients. They also assist nurses in-training.
Registered Practical Nurse (RPN)
Registered Practical Nurses are similar to registered nurses. While Registered Nurses require a baccalaureate degree, Registered Practical Nurses require a diploma in Practical Nursing. This education is typically offered through a 2 year college program.
Educational programs for RPNs are more focused on patient care under the supervision of another registered nurse or doctor(s). RPNs are also required to be licensed in Canada.
Physiotherapists or physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who work with patients of all ages to rehabilitate impairment, disabilities, and chronic conditions. They also educate others on about mobility and disease/injury prevention.
In Canada, PTs are required to complete a 2-year Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT) program and a prerequisite Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Social workers are healthcare professionals that work to improve the well-being of individual patients and groups through direct practice, crisis intervention, and community organizing. They may also work in research and policy.
The duties of a social worker depends their work setting. Typical work settings include: shelters, family services agencies, children’s aid agencies, general/psychiatric hospitals, school boards, and correctional institutions.
This profession is regulated provincially in Canada. Following a post-secondary degree or diploma in social work, prospective social workers must be granted a licence to practice provincially.
Speech pathologists, or speech therapists, are healthcare professionals who specialize in the assessment and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders. Speech therapists work in a variety of settings from public hospitals to home environments. They deal with patients of all ages following traumatic events that have inhibited their ability to communicate.
In Canada, Speech Pathology is a Master’s entry-level field. This means aspiring speech pathologists are expected to complete a baccalaureate degree – most often a Bachelor of Science in psychology or linguistics. Following this, speech pathologists must obtain a Masters in Speech Pathology – typically a 2-3 year program.
Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who diagnose, treat and prevent disorders affecting the neuro-musculoskeletal system.
In Canada, the educational standards for becoming a chiropractor are high. After completing a baccalaureate degree in a closely related field, Canadians chiropractors must receive their Doctorate in Chiropractic (D.C.) (a three year program).
There are only two schools for chiropractors in Canada: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and Universite du Quebec a Trois Rivieres. They are both fully accredited by the Canadian Federation of Chiropractic Regulatory and Educational Accrediting Boards.
Pharmacist & Pharmacy Assistant
Pharmacists are health care professionals who prepare and dispense drugs and medicines. Though they are directly involved in patient care, a pharmacist’s work lies in the cross-section between health sciences and chemical sciences. They are responsible for ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Pharmacist assistants support pharmacists in their work by performing a variety of related duties, including dispensing prescription drugs and medical devices, and instructing patients on their use.
The requirements to enter the pharmacy field are rigorous, and differ from province to province.
Candidates are expected to hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy from an accredited university. They are also expected to successfully complete a national licensing exam, administered by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. On top of that, pharmacists are also required to possess first-hand experience through a work-placement, apprenticeship or internship.