Supporting Transitions for Newcomer Health Professionals

Supporting Transitions for Newcomer Health Professionals

New to Canada and trying to figure out how to apply your knowledge and experience in the medical field? Our ELT Program could be for you!

The Enhanced Language Training Program for internationally trained healthcare professionals (referred to as ELT) helps newcomers improve their job-specific language skills, develop professional networks and build workplace communication skills. Held twice a year, this four-month course funded by Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada (IRCC) helps ease barriers faced by internationally-trained medical professionals and support their transition into medical careers in Canada. The program helps newcomers navigate the Canadian workplace and also if appropriate, access alternative careers in the healthcare sector that makes effective use of their knowledge and skills.

Sector-specific language training

Spring/Summer 2017 Graduating Class

Graduating class with CCS Staff: Spring/Summer 2017

Even if some of the participants are conversant in English, the medical terminologies differ in healthcare from country to country. The course introduces the students to professional English and terminology, in addition to topics including workplace culture, ethics in healthcare, health and safety, technology and presentation and communications skills.

One of the ELT participants, AK, shares that: “Language was the biggest difficulty when I was preparing for licensing and this (ELT Program) made it easy to learn the language we need in a professional setting. Also, the coaching sessions about job searching and resume writing opened my eyes to the correct way to highlight my skills.”

Sandra, a program participant says: “With hands-on experience in nursing for several years before landing in Canada, I did not have the faintest idea that I would have to go through coaching to enhance my nursing skills…During the course duration, I developed the concept of how mannerisms and workplace culture vary from country to country. A particular behavior may work in one country but may not be the same in another and vice versa.”

Networking Opportunities

The course includes a volunteer placement with partner healthcare organizations such as University Health Network and Canadian Blood Services to provide participants with exposure to the Canadian healthcare environment as they practice their English language skills and gain experience.

Fanny, a participant from our summer 2016 Program says she was offered a position at a hospital where she was placed as a volunteer researcher. Fanny’s advice for newcomers is to make good use of the networking opportunities provided. “Without going to university here, it is not easy to make connections. With this program, you can not only learn the language but you can start volunteering and start making the necessary connections.”

Past participants often come back as guest speakers to share their challenges and successes with current participants and sometimes, even help them make connections.

A sense of home

“So many students who come through have good experiences and lot of them stay in touch with us and with each other,” says Rob Sufi who has been with CCS as an ELT Instructor and Curriculum Developer for close to a decade.

What makes him happy? “Knowing that we have helped a lot of people figure out alternative options in their careers; knowing that the program helps the students feel confident that they can make a good life for themselves and their families. This program has not only helped them build career skills but also helped them develop a better sense of home in Canada.”

To learn more or to sign up for our next course, please contact the ELT team at Catholic Crosscultural Services at 416-757-7010.