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All things Health Care Admin/HCA (merged)

medaid

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Oh snap you're right! Thanks MM!

I apologize for my mistake ladies and gents.
 

dapaterson

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Of course, we've played fast and loose with the Geneva Conventions for a number of years.  The HCC was a legitimate military target for the past several years, after the brain trust at CFSU(O) installed 33 CBG HQ in the building...


I'm still not entirely convinced that the Heath administration function couldn't be filled by a sub-occupation of the Log branch; the GC issues could be addressed as could the training - there are tremendous overlaps.

Or, at the very least, the training could be better aligned and shared, vice maintaining seperate empires across the base from each other in Borden.
 

Blackadder1916

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MedTech said:
HCA = OCdt - Captain
HSO = Maj - Gen (but very unlikely beyond Col, as H Svc branch is always commanded by MOs)

It would never work because the HCA is your clinic manager, trg coordinator, policy enforcer and platoon commanders.
All of the above jobs cannot be performed by a LOG O, just like INT cannot be properly done by CBT Arms Officers. You are not trained in that capacity,
and you are not versed in the happenings within a Medical Platoons. Sure anyone can command a platoon, but I sure as hell wouldn't be able to swing a platoon in a Coy advance to contact, because that's not my job. My job's to make sure that when you send back 9 liners I have my team GTG to receive casualties.

I make sure my supplies and equipments good to go and all my MedTechs are also good to go. Give a med pl to an Infantry guy he can probably run it pretty well, but its the intricate details of the trade he won't have.

Most importantly as an HCA/HSO you are a non combatant under the GC. Giving command of medical pers to NON medical officers would be a nightmare. Some might make them into temp infanteers and lead them over the berm.
Think of HCAs as the command part of the H Svc as most NO/MO do NOT command in the true sense of leadership. They supervise.

I was tempted to suggest that you"stay within your lanes" because most of your post was emotional babbling, but on reflection about your limited exposure to the complete range of an HCA/HSO's varied employment during a full (Reg Force) career, you do make one valid point - "anyone can command a platoon".

Commanding a medical platoon is not rocket science.  An HCA in such a position will rarely do anything clinical, so there should (in the minds of those LOG and other types wanting to encroach) be no impediment to opening it up to a non-medical capbadge.  With minimal additional training on the specifics of providing HSS anyone already trained as a pl comd should have no difficulty.  The same could be said of Capt/Lt administrative (HR?) positions - yet we don't have LOG types saying they should be the adjutants in infantry bns.  Why is that?  Is my sarcasm showing?

While not as common in the reserves, at one time many HCAs were CTs from other MOCs; often they went to their first posting prior to any medical branch training (often that was to a fd amb or RSS) and had no difficulty with their duties.  But that, like all initial postings in a new occupation, is a learning experience.

While there may seem to be little downside to a LOG filling an administrative (or operational) position in a medical establishment what would his next posting be?  Would he stay exclusively in the medical world or would he be moved at the whim of the LOG career manager?  What guarantee would there be that he would gain experience in the nuances needed for a senior administrative position in HSS?  And nuances there are.  There were things I learned through experience (medical specific) in my first posting as a MAO-HCA to the BHosp in Edmonton; some of that was actually helpful when I next went to to a staff position at SURGEN (though some experience as a LOG might have been helpful since one of my secondary functions was as a LCMM), and so on and so on.
 

Gunner98

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Blackadder1916 said:
While there may seem to be little downside to a LOG filling an administrative (or operational) position in a medical establishment what would his next posting be?  Would he stay exclusively in the medical world or would he be moved at the whim of the LOG career manager?  What guarantee would there be that he would gain experience in the nuances needed for a senior administrative position in HSS?  And nuances there are.  There were things I learned through experience (medical specific) in my first posting as a MAO-HCA to the BHosp in Edmonton; some of that was actually helpful when I next went to to a staff position at SURGEN (though some experience as a LOG might have been helpful since one of my secondary functions was as a LCMM), and so on and so on.

After spending 14 years an Artillery Officer and the last 11 as a HCA/HSO, I can tell you these considerations are not nuances or small matters.  Working with MOs, Nurses, Pharm Os is not a simple task.  Most medical units have a Log O that takes care of the Supply/Log side of the unit, they have little patience for the clinical leaders within the unit lines. 

Therefore, it is more about learning when something is deemed critical and a surge (not extra electricity) is required in a medical facility to accommodate expected casualties resulting from a Major Medical Incident or a mass casualty, that lives depend on scarce equipment/resources and flexible priorities.  When lives hang in the balance there isn't time to bring someone up to speed on the terminology beyond the content of a 9-liner.

In the manner that the Army has considered and rejected having a General Purpose Officer who is Infantry first and has sub-specialties, the idea of the Fd Amb as a company within Svc Bns has not been realized. 

The HSO occupation also takes people from clinical fields (Pharm, Physio, Nurses) and places them in non-clinical admin and leadership roles.  Who would mentor these people if there were no HCAs.  The in and out logistics officers from the Log empire could eliminate the subtleties in the language that save lives, although one shovel or pick fits all, one surgical saw or blade is the difference between paralysis and sensation.

If the Log empire builders are looking to conquer, it should look elsewhere; our soldiers deserve a knowledgeable, compassionate health care admin or health services operations officer not a crusty, ignorant patient transport company commander.
 

nick_the_guy

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I've been asking questions about joining the reserves as a logistics officer but I am also interested in joining as an HCA, since it's congruent with my business background. I'll be meeting with a recruiting sergeant at my local field ambulance this week but would like to do some prep work before. Can anyone tell me what is the DP1 training for an HCA in the reserves?

I know that there is the basic officer training component: BMQ, BOTP (or whatever it is called now) and CAP, since health services in the reserves run under the Army banner. However, I can't find any information about the occupational training. For the regular force, an HCA needs to earn a health care management certificate from Ryerson and then get on-the-job training in a civilian setting and in the field. Is it the same for a reservist? More importantly, what is the time commitment to complete the HCA reserve occupational training? (Fingers crossed that it can be done in 2 week modules like a logistics officer.)

 

Staff Weenie

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Nick - I'll have some info for you in a few days, but feel free to PM me with any questions you may ever have about the HCA occupation in the Res F.
 

nick_the_guy

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Thanks, I'll definitely follow up with you. I did speak to the local field ambulance recruiter, he steered me more towards logistics as I didn't currently work at a hospital nor have any knowledge of stuff like pharmaceuticals. Still, I'd like to know more about the HCA position, from a reserves perspective.

One interesting point that he mentioned was that for officers in the medical service, they were no longer attached to the army and did not have to do CAP. We didn't get into details but he mentioned that there may have been some new phased/modular training for the medical service.
 

Staff Weenie

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Well, the info I have, based upon last year's course dates is:

Basic Field Health Services Course:
Mod I:  20 Jun - 08 Jul
Mod II:  11 Jul - 22 Jul

Basic HCA 25 Jul - 04 Aug

As for the occupation itself, I will tell you that based upon my 20 yrs of experience, there is almost nothing from a civilian Health Care Management position that is relevant to Res F HCAs. In the Res F Fd Ambs, we focus on operations, not on in-garrison clinical care.  In fact, over the years, the absolute best HCAs I've been privileged to learn from, never had this background.

Would having a strong bio-sci background help? Possibly, but that's not a guarantee either. You're not there to do patient care as an HCA - you're there to ensure that the mission is successful. There are clinicians who will handle the patient care - you make sure that they have everything they need to carry out their duties, be it equipment, training, funding, vehicles, etc.

I'm not certain about the CAP issue - but I will tell you that getting rid of it for HCAs would be a big mistake! We support the other environments, but primarily the Army. We're also the one Officer occupation in the Health Services that must understand how the Army operates, and be able to ensure that support can be given in any type of operational environment.
 

nick_the_guy

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Thanks Staff Weenie. High Flyer has also offered me some info on the HCA position. It's interesting that you've found that there is a disconnect between military and civilian HCA functions. Would it be correct to assume the reverse, if civilian HCA is not relevant to the military HCA position, then military HCA training is not relevant to in a civilian context?
 
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seawolf

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Hey,

I will hopefully be adding HCA to my application (LogO). I have a few questions.

My file manager said HCA is a really good choice and fits my backgroup very well, just like LogO does. I have a B.Comm Combined Honours Business and Economics and a post graduate certificate in HR Management, plus 5+ years related work experience.

1. Is HCA kind of the LogO of the Medical Branch? Keep the doctors, nurses and Med Tech's stocked with what they need, and do the mojo in the background to make sure the mission is successful?

2. Is there an immediate promotion to Lt after BMOQ? I'm a little confused by the video on the forces website and some info I have read.

3. Any other info on HCA you want to give me would be great.

Thanks,

Mike
 

Armymedic

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There are a couple HCAs on the boards to provide more details.

HCAs are not the "Log O" of the medical branch. That role is filled by Pharmacy Officers AKA pharmacists.

Health Care Admintration Officers are what the name suggests. They are the non-clinician entity which assist in the provision of health care by being the experts in areas other than those involving direct patient contact. HCAs are most often employed as platoon commanders, tng officers, clinic managers, and other staff officer roles.

Like I said in the opening, there are HCAs on the boards (MedCorps being the most experienced)who can answer more detailed questions.
 

Blackadder1916

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The medical world (actually everything in the military) runs on paper (or its present-day digital equivalent).  In the medical branch, most of that paper shuffling is done by HCAs.  It is expected that, because of their education, training and experience, they become the experts.  And to be brutally honest, the doctors often don't want to soil their hands with the mundane (even if you don't discount the fact that it is not cost effective to have clinicians do those tasks).  Newly minted HCAs (especially if they don't come into the branch the more traditional, old-fashioned way of CFR and OT) are the SLJOs of the CFMS.

MedCorps will probably be along to provide a more up-to-date tale of opportunities for HCAs.  However, during my time (I am retired from the CF) as an HCA, I had a number of interesting and challenging jobs that involved command, staff, administrative and financial tasks (and one job that overlapped into the logistics world) .  Did some of this mirror what Log Os do?  Yes, but it could be said the same about any officer of any classification (especially in field force units).

You may find that your education and work experience (especially if it is, as it appears, to be very HR centric) will not be directly relatable to HR functions in the CF as most of those processes are centrally done in a very, very large organization.

Yes, all HCAs start out as Lieutenants.  It's not a big deal, there are no Second Lieutenants in the (Reg Force) CFMS.
 
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seawolf

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Thanks for the help and tips guys.

immediate promotion to Lt is a decent bonus/advantage of the trade. According to the pay scale on forces.ca that's about $300/month right away. Nothing to shake a stick at.
 

HCA123

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During the recruiting process I too wrestled with going LOG O vs HCA. At the end of the day I ended up going HCA and am happy I did given my interests. If you have specific questions, feel free to drop me a PM, I've done a little bit of everything over the last few years (Field Ambulance, Clinic, overseas and now a posting to the US).
 

MedCorps

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Just to fill out the above comments a little.

HCAs exist in the Regular Force from the rank of Lt to Major.  At the rank of Major they are eligible to complete for Voluntary Occupational Transfer to the Health Services Operations (HSO) Officer trade.  In fact, most of the HSOs are ex-HCAs. 

HCAs work in four main environments: 

1) Clinics
2) Field Units
3) Training Establishments 
4) HQ Staffs

In clinics they are the experts in health care administration as their name would imply. This includes working in junior leadership positions and dealing with human resources, business planning, finance, civilian labour relations, infrastructure, medical records, etc.

In field units (field ambulances / the Field Hospital) they often work as platoon commanders, company 2ICs, occasionally company commanders, operations officer, adjutant, admission & discharge officer, liaison officers,  and command post watch officers. They lead the field force at the platoon and company level.

In the Training Establishments they work as instructors teaching most of the topics above, as standards officers, and as Training Establishment key staff such as the service support officer, operations officer, adjutant, and company 2ICs. 

On HQ staffs they work in the field of medical regulating, operations and planning, research, administration & finance, desk officers, project officers, executive assistants / staff officers to Directors / Aide de Camp, and as general staff officers in all areas.

Lots of people around here with HCA experience / have worked with HCAs.  It is an interesting field, much different than the Log O occupation, IMHO.

Cheers,

MC
 

dimsum

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Just for curiosity's sake, what are the civilian prospects for HCAs?  Is there a civilian equivalent (bearing in mind that my medical knowledge extends to pretty much House Season 1)?

 

MedCorps

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There are a number of civilian HCA positions in civilian hospitals / the civilian health care system. They range from people working in hospital billing, records, accreditation, human resources, marketing / donor coordination, emergency management, infrastructure, planning, quality improvement departments to those who are managers, VPs and CEOs.  Most have a Master in Health Administration (MHA) or an MBA with a health focus. Many also have the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation that is offered by the Canadian College of Health Leaders. 

Some work in NGO / IGOs to keep the organization running. 

Some work in the civilian government at places like Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada. Some work in the Provincial health care offices, some work in public health units or other health organizations like Community Care Access Centres or the Canadian Mental Health Association doing things like administration, policy, project management, team leaders, research, etc, etc.

MC
 
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seawolf

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Man,

So much help! Thanks.

Seems like a really interesting trade. Don't know why I didn't look into it more before a week or so ago. Hopefully my medical file ever comes back from the RMO so I can interview for HCA and add it to my application along with LogO which is already there.

- Mike
 
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seawolf

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Have an update interview next Tuesday to add HCA to my file along with LogO. I was merited for LogO last week.

Thanks for all the info.
 
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seawolf

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Never ended up having my interview for HCA back in Sept, due to trade closing and unsure if it would re-open.


Well its open now for DEO and I have an interview on Monday.

Thanks again for all the info. Any final tidbits or facts i should bring up about HCA to wow the MCC?


One question - as an HCA - and say acting as a platoon commander in a field unit - are you commanding all the doctors and nurses, medtechs, etc? Who works under HCA's?
 
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