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The various areas of practice in a private agency

While the nursing profession offers many career opportunities in terms of specialties, other nursing professions, such as nursing assistants, PABs, and health and social services assistants work in a wide variety of settings. In Quebec, there are more than 20 different types of workplaces. However, when you work in an agency like Placement Premier Soin, you have the opportunity to work in these areas depending on your preference: RSSS, CISSS, CIUSSS, private institutions under collective agreement or not, community sector, etc. Here’s what you can expect.

Health and Social Services Network (RSSS)

First, most health professionals are familiar with the healthcare environment, as it’s known to the general public. In fact, the health and social services network employs nearly 85% of the nursing workforce. Since April 1, 2015, following the enforcement of the Act to amend the organization and governance of the health and social services network, Québec has been divided into 22 integrated health and social services centres (CISSS and CIUSSS). Nine of these are academic centres and seven are non-merged institutions. There are five establishments in northern Quebec that serve the northern population.

For example, the CISSS and CIUSSS provide healthcare services from various points of service, such as local community service centres (CLSCs), residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs), hospitals and rehabilitation centres.

Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres

While non-university hospitals offer general and specialized medical care to the population of specific regions, UHCs and university institutions offer specialized or highly specialized services to a population in a territory beyond their social and health region. They handle the most complex and difficult cases. As their name indicates, they are also organizations of choice for the training of future nurses and other healthcare professionals.

For example, in Sherbrooke alone, CIUSSS is represented by more than 17,000 employees, including nurses, physicians, managers and other healthcare professionals.

Private institutions under collective agreement or not

In Quebec, there are there is another type of healthcare facility, reception centres, long-term care residences, hospitals and other care centres can be managed by private companies in partnership with the public sector (centres under collective agreement) or belonging entirely to the private sector (centres not under collective agreement). They care for an aging population that requires too much care to stay at home. These are often family-type environments and several activities are offered on a daily basis in order to positively stimulate the residents.

Public sector other than the RSSS

A slightly less known practical field for nurses in Quebec, but one that is just as important, is work within the prison environment. There are also other municipal organizations that need health professionals, such as the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), the Labour Standards Commission, the Commission des normes, de l’équité de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec (OPHQ), Emergency Health Services (911), the Commission on End-of-Life Care, the Provincial Committee for the Provision of English-language Health and Social Services; and the Committee for the Provision of Health and Social Services to Ethnocultural Communities. Environments where nurses’ expertise is often used in prevention or public information programs.

Community Sector and NPOs

Some of the best-known work: Red Cross hires hundreds of nurses each year for various vaccination campaigns; and prevention work of various organizations that deliver care and support services to the public. In Quebec, several non-profit organizations exist. The work of nurses and other health professionals in these settings is often inspiring. They truly feel that they are making a difference because they work closely with people in need, often in an emergency context.

Why choose to work in an agency?

Agencies like Placement Premier Soin hire nearly 2.5% of the total number of nurses, offering, in particular, much better working conditions than in the public network. Agencies recruit and place, in the short or long term, nurses, nursing assistants, PABs and auxiliary workers for health and social services in most of the settings described above. Although it’s rare for an agency to place staff in management positions, you may be required to work in the field with various people who will ask for your opinion on the services or quality of the services to be provided. In short, a noteworthy career for all health professionals who want to make a real difference.

To learn more about the benefits of working in an agency, we invite you to read our article, “The advantages of working in an agency compared to the challenges of the public system!”.

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