While the health sector is heavily regulated, there are still many possibilities outside of the more defined scopes of practice of regulated professionals. This list is in no way complete – if you have other information/suggestions for us to add to this list, please let us know.
Personal Support Workers
Personal Support Work has been a continuously growing field, particularly as the population ages. PSWs help their clients with bathing and personal hygiene and they may have to lift and mobilize patients who are disabled. They may help with household tasks such as cleaning and cooking, and provide emotional and social support.
Currently, PSWs are unregulated in Ontario, though this may be something that will change in the future. As an unregulated occupation, the credentials required are less clear than within regulated health professions.
Points to consider: Is it better to take the PSW course at Conestoga College, St. Louis Adult Learning Centre, or one of the private career colleges? As an internationally educated healthcare professional, do you need PSW training or will employers hire you based on your credentials? Will employers hire you based on extensive experience? Other points to consider are the physical requirements of the position as well as the potential for working part-time, contract, and the potential need for travel. These are all points to consider in your occupational research to decide what path is right for you.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
What is “alternative medicine”? There are many methods of prevention and treatment and not all fit into the scope of the regulated health professions. There is a growing segment of the population who seek alternatives to our heavily regulated, treatment-based health system.
Alternative health careers, as they are unregulated and may come from a variety of backgrounds, are at times less defined than regulated professions and the scope of practice may be interconnected with other types of practice.
What careers are available and what is required? Again, this may be less clear and not well defined. How do you know what steps to take? You’ll need to conduct full occupational research including information interviews with alternative health practitioners, such as homeopaths, acupuncturists, Chinese Medicine practitioners, Reiki practitioners, and others.
Health and Customer Service
Many people who have an interest in healthcare but are unable or unwilling to train for a regulated career seek employment within customer service in a health care environment. Examples include sales of health products, working in a pharmacy, or customer service in a health food store.
Work through our Job Searching section with your employment counsellor to ensure you match your customer service skills with your passion for healthcare.