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Understanding the various professions in the health sector

Despite what you might hear in the press, a career in the health field can be a very good career choice, from a professional and personal point of view, especially if you decide to opt for an agency. Agencies offer very good working conditions and job security. Even better, we’ll welcome you with open arms.

The health sector is so vast that it’s virtually impossible not to find a fit. Here are the details of the different functions of the main nursing professionals. Below are the details of the various key positions in nursing.

Auxiliary staff in health and social services: professionals focused on patient wellness

Working mainly in the patient’s home, auxiliary staff help the patient and their family to carry out activities of daily and domestic life. They also work to promote the integration and socialization of the person in individual and community activities.

Auxiliary staff have a rich and diverse practice as they work so closely with patients. A relationship of trust is very often established between the patient and the health professional. This relationship affords the work a very human side where workers can make a real difference in the lives of patients.

As part of their duties, the auxiliary staff to the health and social services are responsible for the hygiene, well-being, comfort, supervision and general needs of individuals. They may be called upon to install certain devices or provide more specific care for which they have been trained. They may be asked to prepare meals or do housework.

  • Education required: DEP in Institutional and Home Care Assistance
  • Average Salary: Between $19 and $21 per hour *
  • Practice settings: In residences, in CLSCs

Patient attendants, basic care to improve the patient’s health

Patient attendants (PABs) assure patient welfare by providing basic care, but also by providing physical support and assistance in helping them maintain their health. The PABs are part of the nursing team and assist licensed practical nurses.

The main responsibilities of the PABs are directly related to the needs of patients. They help them, among other things, with waking up, mealtimes and at bedtime, washing, dressing and undressing. They play a decisive role in respecting the integrity and dignity of patients while contributing to their well-being.

  • Education required: DEP in Institutional Home Care and Assistance
  • Average Salary: Between $19 and $22 per hour*
  • Practice setting: hospitals, rehabilitation centres, CHSLDs and CLSCs

Nursing assistants: professionals who monitor the condition of patients

Nursing assistants work with nurses, physicians, and other health professionals in providing patient care. They take care of patients’ vital signs, prepare and dispense medication, administer the various treatments prescribed by the doctor, and collaborate in hygiene and comfort care.

In addition, they watch over patients by carefully observing their behaviour and reactions to detect changes in their condition. They signal any change in these in order to adapt care to be appropriate and effective. Their role in the care team is therefore very important as they ensure that the patient’s condition remains stable.

  • Education required: DEP in Health, Assistance and Nursing
  • Average salary: between $21 and $ 8 per hour *
  • Practice areas: hospitals, CHSLDs and CLSCs

Nurses: a central role in the care plan and doctors’ right arm

From a technical point of view, nurse training offers the greatest flexibility in terms of career and application. For example, once trained, the nurse may choose to work in research or in hospitals, private agencies, private or public residences, CLSCs, etc. An opportunity that extends to the fields of travel, pharmacy and private health clinics. So many places from which to choose where nurses can flourish!

In addition, many care departments can further enrich the careers of nurses such as emergency, occupational health, pediatrics, geriatrics or other specialized areas such as hemodialysis, nephrology, oncology and obstetrics.

Playing a key role in the treatment plan

Nurses are at the heart of patient care plans. They are extremely important because, depending on their level of education and training, the nurse is often the primary person in the treatment plan. For example, the nurse assumes responsibility for a nursing care team, depending on the biopsychosocial needs of the patient or groups of people entrusted to them.

They assess the state of patients’ health, and determine and ensure the implementation of the plan of care and nursing treatments. They provide nursing and medical care and treatment to maintain or restore health and prevent illness.

The nurse plans, conducts and evaluates education for patients, their loved ones and groups of people. They are also involved in research aimed at promoting health and preventing illness.

  • Education required: DEC in Nursing or BSc in Nursing
  • Average salary: between $24 per hour to $36 per hour*
  • Practice areas: hospitals, rehabilitation centres, CLSCs, private and public CHSLDs, private clinics, private businesses, CEGEP teachers, pharmacies, etc.

A rewarding career and challenges to suit your skills and aspirations

In short, there are very few professions that can boast of having so many career opportunities following training. Opportunities, possibilities and responsibilities at all levels that can be very interesting, consistent with your interests and career ambitions.

Nursing professions offer flexibility that is often essential in fulfilling our personal, family and professional expectations, especially when choosing to work in an agency. Choosing a career in nursing is an asset for anyone who wants a certain amount of freedom and financial security, both professional and personal!

Read the next article: The various areas of practice in a private agency

Source for wages: avenirensante.gouv.qc.ca