Exploring The Benefits Of Working With A Community Of Mentors At Northern Health


As a student, Samantha Dawe knew she wanted a fulfilling career in healthcare. But she never imagined her pursuits would take her to Northern British Columbia!

Northern Health provides amazing career-hatching roles for young professionals looking to break into the healthcare industry. After meeting their recruitment team during a career fair at Dalhousie University, Samantha says her interest was sparked right away.

“The recruiters did a good job of helping us pick a location that would suit our needs,” recalls Samantha. They helped her consider everything, from her hobbies to her career goals, and she eventually decided on the rural village of Burns Lake, B.C.

What Samantha did not anticipate was how warm and supportive the Northern Health community would be, and how they would influence her career growth. We connected with her to discuss her experiences!

A supportive work environment

Samantha Profile
Samantha Dawe
Northern Health

Soon after graduation, Samantha made her move across the country, trading the east coast for the west. She was placed in a sole charge position in Burns Lake – this meant that she’d be working independently as a Physiotherapist.

Naturally, Samantha was a bit nervous at first. However, her new colleagues helped put her at ease. From her very first day, Samantha says that her Primary Care Team has been incredibly supportive and caring, making the transition into her new role much easier.

“It was nice meeting so many people right off the bat and having all these new connections,” says Samantha. “Everyone was willing to help me out and show me around the area.”

These tight-knit communities are very common around Northern B.C. Even the neighbouring towns work closely with each other to ensure that their patients receive the best quality care. This approach also translates into how Northern Health’s professionals support each other, even when they’re not working from the same location.

“In the north, having connections with the other surrounding communities is a huge bonus,” says Samantha. “It’s great knowing that there are other professionals who have had lots of valuable experiences.”

Mentorship at Northern Health

Having a mentor can make a huge impact on a young professional’s success. Samantha counts herself lucky – she has a whole team of healthcare professionals behind her at Northern Health who are willing to offer her advice.

Did you know? The New Grad Transition Fund at Northern Health supports young professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge in healthcare through additional courses.

Before starting her full-time position, Samantha spent a month at the hospital in Prince George, just a few hours outside of Burns Lake, B.C. There, she trained with experienced physiotherapists who provided her with valuable guidance and advice for her new role, and were able to answer all of her initial questions.

“They knew I was starting a sole charge position, so they wanted to help me prepare,” says Samantha.

Even when she returned to Burns Lake, Samantha was still given all the resources she needed to succeed in her new role. For instance, she had a mentor at the Prince George hospital, whom she could video call whenever she encountered an issue she needed support on. It was a great resource to fall back on, and it helped Samantha tackle her new job with confidence.

“It’s nice to have mentors who can help smooth out those lines and offers tricks and tips,” says Samantha. “Some of these people have 20 years of experience, which is huge.”

Advice for new grads

Since joining the Northern Health team, Samantha has made a lot of progress in her career. She’s settled into her role as a Physiotherapist, and she’s embraced the culture of Northern B.C.

In fact, that’s her number one tip for new healthcare graduates who are looking to make the most of their experience at Northern Health: take advantage of the warm and welcoming culture.

“It’s really easy to connect with people here,” says Samantha. “Don’t be afraid to send out emails to introduce yourself!”

Samantha also says that asking questions is also incredibly important. “No one is expected to know everything right away – especially new grads,” she says. “In my experience, everyone is happy to help. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

Although she’s not quite a seasoned professional yet, Samantha says she wouldn’t hesitate to mentor a new grad. She’s seen the positive and welcoming culture at Northern Health and the impact it can have on a new team member, and she hopes that she’ll have the opportunity to extend the same experience to someone else.

“While there are always challenges in this line of work, you’ll always get through them knowing that these people have your back,” says Samantha. “It’s very inspiring!”

Ready to start your career at Northern Health? Explore their roles here!