This video looks at the healthcare system as a whole, and the fact that there is variation from workplace to workplace. It emphasizes the importance of accessing the community resources available to you, as well as acknowledging some of the steps on the career path that you might have to take: retraining, further education, or an alternative career.
(To read along click here.)
Understanding the Canadian healthcare system
As you would expect, coming into a healthcare system in a different country is complex and exciting! The more you can do to understand the Canadian healthcare system—the legislation, the framework—before you start working in it, the better. You will encounter rules and teamwork models that may be entirely new for you.
The workplace culture is different from hospital to hospital as well, although there are general rules which apply wherever you work in Canada. Volunteering at a local hospital is a great way to become familiar with the general scope of the healthcare system; you can get to know healthcare professionals and patients in that environment.
Becoming familiar with Canadian culture will help your integration into healthcare culture as well. Once you get a job, the healthcare organization also has work that they can do to help you navigate all of this, and feel included. Academic/teaching hospitals tend to be especially good at sharing experiences and resources on cross-committees.
The landscape is ever-changing—don’t be discouraged. Learn, and keep learning. Take advantage of the community resources available to you.
Accessing community resources
Knowing where to go to find resources is an important key to settling into life in Canada. As you adapt to Canadian healthcare culture, look also for other community resources; find out what exists, make friends, find your faith-base, or whatever you know is important to you. Being comfortable in Canadian culture will be a help wherever you end up working.
Welcome Centres and HealthForceOntario are two great resources. Joining an organization specifically connected to your profession is also helpful; they are the people who know exactly what your journey will be like. It builds confidence, getting to know people and talking with them. There are on-line groups you can join to find the company and support of those who share the same problems.
Try to connect with people working in your field, but also connect with with everyone you can. Even if someone can’t give you a job, they might be able to give you a lead. Everyone needs support and guidance – nobody can succeed alone.
Planning your career path
It is a huge challenge to have to start a big part of your education again in order to get licensed here in Canada. It can be discouraging to feel that your education is not fully recognized, but try not to get stuck there; further education is very helpful in attaining your goal of getting back into your profession.
Do everything that you can to understand and meet the requirements of the job you want. Try to assess honestly; it might be that the shortest, fastest way to get back into your field will mean looking at alternative careers within that field.
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