If you are thinking of going to Canada to be a “caregiver” – read this first.
There was a FaceBook posting from a consultancy that described the need for “care givers” in Canada, and I was a bit surprised by the number of nurses who seemed to be interested in this. The flyer reads “opportunities for Caregiver – confirmed job in Canada for nurses” – you know the one. You probably saw it. In a past blog, I wrote that it is very difficult for a young single nurse to go to Canada unless they have a confirmed job. And so – if you are excited by the headline on the FaceBook posting, you might jump at this.
But you need to read it more closely. The “confirmed job” is not a nursing job – it’s a caregiver job.
What is a caregiver?
A caregiver is a person who stays at the home of an elderly person who has frail health, and helps with Activities of Daily Living, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, incontinence care, and toileting. A caregiver works for a Home Health Agency.
In Canada, the government pays for health care, and caregivers are paid via the “Compassionate Care Benefit” – the government tries to help families with an elderly relative who voluntarily care for the aged person – but if there is no such person, a paid caregiver is hired. The Home Health Agency is funded by the government. Read about it at the Canadian Caregiver Association. They focus on family caregivers. You would be doing things the family would normally do.
A caregiver is not the same as a Registered Nurse – you don’t need a complete nursing education to do this job. They would love to have a person with a nursing education from foreign country go to Canada and do this, because they can get a person with good language skill and good education who will be excellent “servant”
Update June 20th 2015
This week there was also a job posted for a “Resident Assistant.” This too, is not a nursing job. It’s pretty much the same as above, expect they work in a group home for adult mentally retarded persons. And of course, there was a post widely repeated on FaceBook, asking nurses to send all kinds of personal information. (Don’t do it! They want to steal your identity!)
Here are the problems:
You would not be using your education to the fullest scope.
No opportunity for advancement. You can’t go there as a caregiver and then switch to RN position.
You stay in one house all the time, and you are subject to the whim of the family members who may or may not like you as a person. You do many non-nursing tasks to please the family.
You are visited periodically by an RN who checks on you, but you don’t use your own license.
The pay is at caregiver scale – about $10 per hour. Not at RN scale which would be $30 per hour.
You would not be at a hospital, there are no team of friends to share work with and knowledge.
The job involves lifting of disabled patients, and there is a high rate of back injury.
For all these reasons, there is a shortage of Canadians who want to work in this job – that’s why they want foreign workers to come in at low wages. If you just finished PCL nursing and you are nineteen years old like many new PCL nurses, you need to become aware of these issues.
Another part is – you pay a fee for the consultancy to complete your application, with no guarantee that you will be selected in the end.
Ask yourself –
Do you have pride in your nursing education?
Do you have loans to pay already?
Is is worth paying more for a consultancy?
Can’t you be of the most help to nursing right here in Nepal, instead?
What to read:
Read the fine print.
Ask if it is a caregiver job or a nursing job.
Ask about every single thing I listed above.
Please share this with every nurse and with every young woman who is considering doing this job.
Also read these past blogs on similar topics. Click here for one that describes the budget involved. Click on this one to read about advice for USA.
One Last thing
Finally, if you got this far, please take a look at the reviews for my second book about Nepal Health care, a novel titled The Sacrament of the Goddess. It was published in Kathmandu Nepal in January 2015, you can get it at Vajra Books in Thamel on Jyatha Marg.