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Here are some sources of clinical experiences for Canadian pre-meds/pre-PA/pre-Dental/pre-PT/pre-OT/Nursing/You get the point


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Hey guys!

I noticed that a lot of Canadian students are dissatisfied about the range of relevant and paid clinical experience opportunities that are available to non-Nursing students. As you may or may not know, Nursing students can often be hired as Personal Support Workers, although I hear that this is getting harder and harder to find. I, for myself, work as clinical staff at a complex care hospital, but I worked really hard to get to this job and I wanted to share some jobs that are open to students looking for paid clinical experience.

Now, my job has evolved from a Dietary Aide position to a role more akin to a Nursing Aide, but I would just like to reiterate that, as students, WE CANNOT ASSIST WITH PRIMARY/MAJOR PROCEDURES SUCH AS INTUBATIONS, CAUTERIZATIONS, AND SUCH, BECAUSE WE ARE NOT CERTIFIED YET. PLEASE DO NOT EXPECT TO BECOME, AS CANADIANS, PHLEBOTOMISTS, OR SURGICAL TECHS WITHOUT CERTIFICATIONS (which may take at least 6 months of full-time studies to obtain). That being said, jobs for students pursuing pretty much any Bachelor's, but specifically biology (biomedical, biopharmaceutical, biology, biochemistry, etc.), health sciences (kinesiology, nutrition, health sciences, gerontology, etc.), along with obviously nursing students, are often found in health centres that do not provide Intensive/Emergency care. Stating that you are a pre-med/PA/PT/OT/nursing student during interviews actually does help, as they will be more willing to show you stuff such as procedures and reasoning behind treatments, as well as even introducing you to healthcare professionals.

Therefore, you will find positions at complex care hospitals (palliative, long-term care, rehabilitation, etc.), medically oriented nursing homes, generic nursing homes, and palliative care centres. Examples of titles of positions that have offered me employment/interviewed me as a student: activity aide (nursing homes), recreation aide (nursing homes), dietary aide (nursing homes, hospitals), activation aide (nursing homes), patient porter (hospitals). I also hear of students starting out as receptionists/clerks/housekeepers at a nursing home and get offered training as PSWs by their nursing home. A paid clinical role not only pays your bills, but also shows professional school committees that you are no longer a passive assistance staff, but that you have had direct patient care experience (and believe me, your experience will definitely be direct rather than passive volunteer work). There is definitely a change in mentality when you are staff, and a huge load of responsibility is placed on your shoulders, which is really rewarding.

I would just like to reiterate that you should not look for work in beautiful, glamorous centres, but rather go to facilities where they need staff and that may be a little bit more rundown: go where you are needed rather than where you want to end up. You are a student, you are at the bottom, and you should adopt that mentality. I started out as a volunteer in the geriatric rehabilitation program of my hospital and worked hard to get a recommendation (started volunteering in September, got hired as clinical staff in may).

I hope this helps someone somehow!

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