Living and working along BC's Central Coast could change your life - here's why

Sep 21 2018, 12:30 am

Travelling gives you a new perspective and experience that you just can’t find in your hometown. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find it in Canada.

We’re lucky enough to be living in one of the most amazing countries in the world when it comes to diverse landscapes, work environments, food, and culture. And you can only really appreciate the true extent of this when you travel.

Let’s take BC’s Central Coast as an example. This incredibly beautiful area offers rugged sceneries, mountains of history, and it’s within close proximity to the stunning great bear rainforest. Oh, and it’s somewhere you’ve probably never been, or maybe even heard of!

If you’re a health care professional, now is your opportunity to break out of your comfort zone, travel, and work in the spectacular towns of Bella Bella or Bella Coola, because Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is hiring right now. VCH has regular full-time, part-time, and casual jobs available for a variety of health care professionals.

RFT positions come with four weeks’ vacation and game-changing benefits! Oh, and of course, some of the friendliest, most inspiring, and talented co-workers you could ever work with.

Watch a short video Jenna put together during her time in Bella Coola here.

Jenna Gagnon’s experience

You can swap busy city life for a more peaceful environment in a welcoming, yet tight-knit community just like Jenna Gagnon did.

Gagnon moved to the small town of Bella Coola at 22 years old, apprehensive and excited at the same time. Most people aspire to move to a big city for a change of pace and life experience; however, for Gagnon, remote Bella Coola beckoned. She began working as a combined lab and X-ray technologist (CLXT) at Bella Coola General Hospital.

Jenna Gagnon/Vancouver Coastal Health

“A classmate of mine accepted a temporary position in Bella Coola and mentioned to me that there was another position open. I showed some interest but knew that this was a big decision,” says Gagnon.

“The only time I had only ever lived away from home was with my siblings, two hours away from where we were raised. Nevertheless, after a couple of email exchanges and phone interviews, I was offered the job. To my own surprise, I accepted the offer, left home and headed for the unknown.”

Soon after arriving, she was ready to put her practical skills and knowledge to the test.

“I quickly learned that this was no longer ‘just school’. The situations were real, and the patients were members of the very community I had just moved 2,000 km to be a part of. There were a lot of moments in the first couple of months when I would come in and feel beyond my depth, but the support and comfort I received from my colleagues during those times is what got me through it and made me the skilled technologist I am now.”

Jenna Gagnon and colleagues/Vancouver Coastal Health

Gagnon notes that although working with doctors can feel intimidating at times, she was lucky enough to have worked with physicians in Bella Coola that showed her that no one is too important to be nice.

“It was a valuable reminder that we work as a team. In addition to the amazing doctors, I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards the entire staff at the Bella Coola General Hospital, from all the nurses, management, support staff and patients.”

She describes Bella Coola as such a welcoming place. “I have never felt so accepted and included in a place, which I so obviously didn’t fit in. I was moving from the Saskatchewan prairies to coastal BC. I shared little-to-no common interests with people who today I am proud to call some of my best friends. I also joined the fire department where I met more great friends who made it easy to let go of the familiar and embrace the new.”

Bella Coola General Hospital/Vancouver Coastal Health

The young combined lab and X-ray technologist’s experience inspired her to further her education in health care. “Bella Coola has had a tremendously positive impact on my life, and my experiences there have contributed to my personal growth. This is something I will always be grateful for,” Gagnon adds.

How you can follow a similar path

Vancouver Coastal Health wants more people to experience living and working along BC’s Central Coast, and they’re hiring right now.

If you’re a nurse or allied health professional who is currently registered with your relevant professional BC regulatory body and you meet the qualifications listed on the job posting of interest, reach out and apply!

For registered nurses that means registration with the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP), and have completed a recognized advanced nursing program in emergency or critical care nursing, one year recent, related experience in emergency or critical care nursing, or an equivalent combination of education training and experience.

Vancouver Coastal Health will work in tandem with eligible candidates to secure affordable accommodation, and up to $5,000 relocation assistance may be offered to eligible candidates. And if you qualify, the Province of British Columbia will forgive the outstanding BC portion of your Canada-B.C integrated student loan debt at a rate of up to a maximum of 20% per year for up to five years.

If you complete five years of employment, all or a percentage of your BC student loan debt will be forgiven. While you are in the loan forgiveness program, the Province will also pay any outstanding interest that accumulates during each year you are registered in the program. Affordable living, relocation assistance, and no student loans? Sign us up!

Don’t meet the qualifications yet? VCH also offers a 100% employer-paid post-basic training for eligible candidates with through the University of Northern BC (UNBC,) Foundations in Emergency and Trauma Nursing Course.

For more information and to apply for a health care job on the Central Coast, visit Vancouver Coastal Health. You can also reach out to recruitment services at 604-675-2500 or by emailing [email protected].

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