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All things Health Care Admin/HCA (merged)

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Hello all,

I did a search and couldn’t find any recent information on this topic… Forgive me if my search was inadequate.

My question is in regards to likely posting opportunities. I am currently going through ROTP, set to graduate by the end of the year, and as I understand it, I will be posted shortly thereafter, at which time I will do phase III/IV in Borden, and the HealthCareCAN DL package.

To the point: It would make sense to me, as an outsider, for HCA’s first posting to be to either Edmonton or Pet, so that new HCA’s can easily transition between a clinic and a Field Amb as they progress (or back and forth as needed due to manning req). My reason for this line of thinking is that it allows the CAF to push one through their junior officer experience at an MIR and a Field Ambulance without having to do a public cost move between two bases, a “two postings with one stone” scenario that maximizes experience while minimizing cost. Similarly, being posted to a base clinic without a Field Amb-Wainwright, Gagetown, Halifax, etc- and then being tasked to a larger base for Field Amb work costs money for TD/travel, so it feels logical that this would be avoided, where possible.

Am I on the right track here, or are fresh new HCA's commonly posted to smaller facilities? Does this line of thought make sense to those of you who have either been through it recently, or have knowledge of how this system works? If anyone has any thoughts on this, I am all ears (or eyes in this case).

Thank you for your insight.
 

MedCorps

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The first thing you need to accept is that the posting plot makes no sense. The second thing is that it rarely has foresight past the immediate needs of the service, outside of those that are succession planned (which will not be you as a Lt HCA). Once you have accepted these two facts, you just place your fate in the hands of the man. Not joking, I am serious, you would think there is some sort of master plan to all of this moving as a subaltern, but alas, nope.

Here is some food for thought and for the others looking at this thread in the future.

HCA's right off the Basic Training List (meaning they are done BMOQ, HSOSOC, BHCA and the civilian health care certificate package) are employed in a number of locations / roles.

1) Clinics.
2) Field Units.
3) Headquarters.
4) Training Centre.

1) Clinics.  The entry level position in a Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Base Medical Clinic) is as the Support Services Manager (SSM). This really is not an entry level position probability suited for a newly minted Captain, but we use it as such and it is quite possible you will find yourself in this position as a new Lt with a boat load of responsibility. Each Canadian Forces Health Services Centre has one SSM and they report to the CO / Clinic Manager.  Responsible for clinic infrastructure, finance, human resources, the clinic orderly room and health records section. You will become a civilian (public service) management and finance ninja in this job.

2) Field units. Either field ambulance (three of them) or 1 Canadian Field Hospital (1 of them). Most commonly you will start as the Assistant Operations Officer, Assistant Training Officer or Assistant Adjutant but it is possible you will be a Platoon Commander (Ambulance Pl) or Platoon 2IC (Medical Pl), Company 2IC right from the start.  The later three jobs are ideally a Sr. Lt or Jr. Captain, especially if the Med Pl Commander position is not filled due to a shortage of Medical Officers.  Here is the trick, the Field Ambulances also are responsible for the Base Medical Clinic (in such situations called Garrison Medical Support Company) they are co-located with, so you could also be the SSM working in the GS Coy of a Fd Amb. The nice thing about a Fd Amb is that that it offers some posting stability for a few years and you can move up the Jr Officer HCA chain in one location. For instance, you can move from A/Training Officer to Amb Pl Comd, to SSM, to Adjt, which could take multiple years.  If I was to request one posting from the Career Manager as a newly minted HCA it would be to a field unit, ideally a field ambulance.

3) Headquarters. Three of them (Gp HQ in Ottawa, 1 Health Services Group and 4 Health Services Group).  In these positions you will be a staff officer supporting either other staff officers or be the staff officer to a Director / Commander (Gp HQ). These positions are not an ideal introduction to the CF H Svcs Gp, and nobody wants to be an Lt in a HQ, especially when everyone around you is a Captain or Major and you soon learn the about the concept of Shitty Little Jobs Officer.  If you have to pick one as an Lt, pick the HSGs as there is more meaningful work for an Lt there and less Sr. Officers to deal with.

4) Training Centre.You will work as a finance officer, support services officer, maybe as a Coy Admin Officer. The nice thing at the Canadian Forces Training Centre is that you can stay a few years an move into an instructor position or become the Adjt / Ops O / Coy 2IC. 

So there you have it... life as a Lt HCA.  Things change when you get to Captain.

I would go with a field unit. Get it done when you are young and set the conditions to return as a Coy Comd / DCO / CO someday. Likewise learn how a CF H Svcs C works as a Lt / Capt so you can set the conditions to be a Clinic CO / Manager one day. 

If you need anything else drop me a line and good luck with your transition from ROTP to the serving ranks.

MC
 
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful, thorough response; it was extremely helpful in better understanding the situation (even if it really opens the doors on possible postings). I'll give it some thought and probably come back to pester you with another question or two.
 

jitterbug

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MedCorps said:
The first thing you need to accept is that the posting plot makes no sense. The second thing is that it rarely has foresight past the immediate needs of the service, outside of those that are succession planned (which will not be you as a Lt HCA). Once you have accepted these two facts, you just place your fate in the hands of the man. Not joking, I am serious, you would think there is some sort of master plan to all of this moving as a subaltern, but alas, nope.

Here is some food for thought and for the others looking at this thread in the future.

HCA's right off the Basic Training List (meaning they are done BMOQ, HSOSOC, BHCA and the civilian health care certificate package) are employed in a number of locations / roles.

1) Clinics.
2) Field Units.
3) Headquarters.
4) Training Centre.

1) Clinics.  The entry level position in a Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Base Medical Clinic) is as the Support Services Manager (SSM). This really is not an entry level position probability suited for a newly minted Captain, but we use it as such and it is quite possible you will find yourself in this position as a new Lt with a boat load of responsibility. Each Canadian Forces Health Services Centre has one SSM and they report to the CO / Clinic Manager.  Responsible for clinic infrastructure, finance, human resources, the clinic orderly room and health records section. You will become a civilian (public service) management and finance ninja in this job.

2) Field units. Either field ambulance (three of them) or 1 Canadian Field Hospital (1 of them). Most commonly you will start as the Assistant Operations Officer, Assistant Training Officer or Assistant Adjutant but it is possible you will be a Platoon Commander (Ambulance Pl) or Platoon 2IC (Medical Pl), Company 2IC right from the start.  The later three jobs are ideally a Sr. Lt or Jr. Captain, especially if the Med Pl Commander position is not filled due to a shortage of Medical Officers.  Here is the trick, the Field Ambulances also are responsible for the Base Medical Clinic (in such situations called Garrison Medical Support Company) they are co-located with, so you could also be the SSM working in the GS Coy of a Fd Amb. The nice thing about a Fd Amb is that that it offers some posting stability for a few years and you can move up the Jr Officer HCA chain in one location. For instance, you can move from A/Training Officer to Amb Pl Comd, to SSM, to Adjt, which could take multiple years.  If I was to request one posting from the Career Manager as a newly minted HCA it would be to a field unit, ideally a field ambulance.

3) Headquarters. Three of them (Gp HQ in Ottawa, 1 Health Services Group and 4 Health Services Group).  In these positions you will be a staff officer supporting either other staff officers or be the staff officer to a Director / Commander (Gp HQ). These positions are not an ideal introduction to the CF H Svcs Gp, and nobody wants to be an Lt in a HQ, especially when everyone around you is a Captain or Major and you soon learn the about the concept of Shitty Little Jobs Officer.  If you have to pick one as an Lt, pick the HSGs as there is more meaningful work for an Lt there and less Sr. Officers to deal with.

4) Training Centre.You will work as a finance officer, support services officer, maybe as a Coy Admin Officer. The nice thing at the Canadian Forces Training Centre is that you can stay a few years an move into an instructor position or become the Adjt / Ops O / Coy 2IC. 

So there you have it... life as a Lt HCA.  Things change when you get to Captain.

I would go with a field unit. Get it done when you are young and set the conditions to return as a Coy Comd / DCO / CO someday. Likewise learn how a CF H Svcs C works as a Lt / Capt so you can set the conditions to be a Clinic CO / Manager one day. 

If you need anything else drop me a line and good luck with your transition from ROTP to the serving ranks.

MC

This is a really great post thanks for sharing as it cleared up alot of questions I had.
 

kfrunning

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I am considering a rather startling career change and would like some input from anyone who might have some insight.

I originally trained as a Registered Nurse and have since obtained an MBA (while still maintaining my RN registration).  I have been managing hospital units for the last 10 years - budgets, human resources, clinical support, program development, etc.  I have also been living overseas for the last five years (Australia) and plan to return to Canada next year.  I am contemplating joining the reserves when I get home, or perhaps even the regular forces.  The biggest issue - I am already 47 years old!  Other forums have said that other middle-aged female recruits tend to take on the role of platoon mother during basic.  I can handle that, and I am quite fit, but I am not sure if this is a realistic consideration.

I would appreciate any information, insight, or advice that anyone is willing to share.
 

MedCorps

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You have a good background.  If you want to continue being an administrator in a health care system and want to join the Canadian Forces then Health Care Administration (HCA) Officer would be a good choice in the Regular Force. I would not recommend joining as a Nursing Officer, unless you want to go back to clinical duties, for that is employment stream for Junior Officers, especially at the Lt rank.

In the Reserve Force you will not be administrating a garrison health care system all that much, but rather leading / commanding in a field environment on weekends / training nights.

Good luck... it never hurts to apply.

MC
 

mariomike

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kfrunning said:
The biggest issue - I am already 47 years old! 

In case you have not already read it, you may find this discussion of interest,

Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread) 
http://army.ca/forums/threads/207.250
 

Leo791989

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kfrunning
I was on this forum about 10 years ago or so, since then I have completed my RN and have been working as a RN for about 6 years or so. I am also one semester away from completing my MBA. Having said that, I've just applied for the HCA(Regular) career with the CF. I don't think age is a concern at all. As other's have said it, if you are fit and committed..Go For it!
 

ADIDAS

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Hey all,

I am looking into a VOT from MARS to Health Care Admin.  I am post NOPQ and post-OFP, but prior to sending an intent up the CoC to speak to the BPSO to grab some information, I would like to know if anyone here has any information about HCA as a trade, how viable it is to VOT into and if there are specific pre-reqs in order to get picked up.

I have scoured the forums for information on HCA and it has not turned up much other than what is in recruiting videos.  If I am barking up the wrong tree here, I apologize and could someone please redirect me.

Cheers!
 

ModlrMike

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It would be helpful if we knew what subject area you completed your degree in.
 

jitterbug

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Does anyone know what an OCdt with BMOQ would wear for a cap badge?  Also what accouterments would be worn on the DEU? ie. buttons etc.  I tried contacting CFMSS with no luck.

Thanks.
 

T.I

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Hello,

I apologize because this post is about to be quite long but please bear with me as I think it’s important I show the context. I currently find myself vacillating between two trades – Logistics Officer-AIR and Health Care Administration Officer and I was wondering if I could get some light shed on some things if it's not too much trouble.

A bit of background:
I'm 30 years old with an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences and a master’s degree in Business Administration. I have worked in administrative roles in hospitals and also worked as an analyst with a health-business consulting firm. For the past few years I have been working at the Canadian Red Cross Society in a financial reporting capacity.

My application to the Canadian Armed Forces has been ongoing for a quite a while – it’s been over 2.5 years. I applied to the CAF (Air Force) in March 2015. I had 3 trades on my file: Logistics Officer (Log-AIR), Health Care Administration Officer (HCA) and Aerospace Control Officer (AEC). I wrote the CFAT in May, and in July of that same year my file was sent to Ottawa for additional security screening because I am a dual citizen. The assessment finally came back October 18, 2017 (it was long wait!) with no security objections.

On October 30 my recruiting centre contacted me and told me that because my application has been so long in processing, they would put in a special request to process my file further even though selection for my trades has closed for this fiscal year. The idea is to have me competition listed by the time the trades re-open for next the next fiscal so I’m ready to go as soon as possible. However, in order to put in the request I was advised to drop AEC from my choices because Air Crew Selection is required and booking for that is backed up till at least February which would mean more months of waiting. Since Log-AIR was my first choice anyway, I dropped AEC and the Intake Management approved the request for further processing.

Today November 2, I was told I have been booked for a medical and interview on November 23 for…HCA (which I guess makes sense given my educational and professional background). As I said before, Log-AIR is my first choice so I was a bit surprised. My dilemma is if I should request to have HCA dropped and stick with Log-AIR or if I should go ahead and get processed for HCA seeing as I've been waiting so long and I want to join the Forces so badly. I only have one week to get back to my file manager confirming my attendance so I really need some advice ASAP!

A few questions for the HCAs:
The reason I chose Log-AIR is because I think it gels well with my strengths (I’m analytical and detail oriented) and think it’s dynamic trade with fresh challenges that’ll keep me busy and not so bogged down in paperwork. I also think that it’s a trade that’s not so niche and so will make for easier transition to civilian life should I choose to.

-Do you find the HCA trade to be fresh and dynamic without becoming too routine/mundane with lots of tedious paperwork being the majority of the tasks?
- I would love to have some international deployment experiences. Are there enough opportunities for this being an HCA? More so than being a LogO?
- What is the career progression like for HCAs compared to LogOs in terms of moving up in rank? There are a lot less HCAs so I’m assuming there is less competition?
- Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?
- Do you have a choice on if you’re posted to a clinic, field unit, headquarters or training centre? I read something on this thread about ending up being a “Shitty Little Jobs Officer” at HQ and I shuddered.

These are some of the questions running through my mind as I’m trying to settle on a decision. Many thanks in advance to whoever is able to provide some answers.
 

HCA123

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Do you find the HCA trade to be fresh and dynamic without becoming too routine/mundane with lots of tedious paperwork being the majority of the tasks?

- These days with Health Services there is very little in the way of routine/mundane. There will always be paperwork, but I don’t find myself too often filling out paperwork that doesn’t have a purpose.

I would love to have some international deployment experiences. Are there enough opportunities for this being an HCA? More so than being a LogO?

- There are deployment opportunities and a couple of postings outside Canada as well (USA, Germany at the Capt rank and a couple of others at the Maj rank). Opportunities largely depend on where you are working though and if you have the support of your chain of command. There are likely ‘more’ Log O deployments available, but they are a bigger trade and I’m not sure if anyone here could really give you percentages. As for the RCAF side of things, they’ve been very busy over the last few years so likely they’ve had more deployments, but we are running a facility in Iraq and I think it’s safe to say we are all waiting to see if ‘the next mission’ also includes a facility. If it does, there will be opportunities for sure as it will normally include an HCA junior officer or 2 (or in the case of Afghanistan 4 or 5 Capt HCAs deployed at a time).

What is the career progression like for HCAs compared to LogOs in terms of moving up in rank? There are a lot less HCAs so I’m assuming there is less competition?

- When I look at my RCAF Log O peers, I would say that they track a pretty similar timeframe for promotion to Maj/LCol. It will always be dependent on the person, but if you are a high performer, you’ll make it to Maj in about the same time in both trades.

Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

- training information upon enrollment can be provided by the recruiting group. For the most part, new officers are offered a full-time French course for 6-9 months upon completion of basic with the goal of reaching the federal government’s BBB level (BAB gets you out of there early). My information could be dated, so ask the recruiting centre. SLT is essential for progressing through the ranks – if you don’t have a valid SLT profile, you will quickly fall behind your peers in promotion to the next rank.

Do you have a choice on if you’re posted to a clinic, field unit, headquarters or training centre? I read something on this thread about ending up being a “Shitty Little Jobs Officer” at HQ and I shuddered.

- Health Services prefers to send new HCAs to a field unit to start their careers, but obviously not everyone can start that way. At a field unit you get an introduction to field medicine; get to know the providers and how we deliver care in the field (field exercises, etc). When it comes to people’s personal preferences, it’s always a balance of things – job vs location, etc. For many people, location matters most, so if you decide that it’s a specific job that is most important, then ask for that job in a location that others don’t necessarily want. For example, if you want to run the HR and Finance for a clinic as the Manager of Support Services, ask to go to Wainwright or Cold Lake. They are both great little clinics and not a lot of people want to go there. If you really want to start your career at a field unit (which most of us will say is the best route), then ask to go to Petawawa as there are 3 units (2 large field and 1 small supply depot) and not a lot of people ask to go there. So my advice – find out where people don’t want to go and ask for that. If location stability is something you want, ask to go to Edmonton. Maybe you can start at the Field Ambulance, then transition to the clinic and then maybe find yourself at the HQ there. Assuming you end up on French following basic, wait until the completion of basic and then use this forum contact one of us to find out who the career manager and trade advisor are at the time, then I would encourage you to send them a short email of introduction and outline your posting preferences. If the email includes places that others don’t want to go, then they’ll likely pay closer attention to it. Don’t expect much back and forth dialogue this way or for it to continue once you are posted because then all communications go through your chain of command; but as a newbie, if you want to try and influence things, its best to do it while posting plot is in the planning stage (Nov-Jan timeframe).
 

T.I

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HCA123 said:
Do you find the HCA trade to be fresh and dynamic without becoming too routine/mundane with lots of tedious paperwork being the majority of the tasks?

- These days with Health Services there is very little in the way of routine/mundane. There will always be paperwork, but I don’t find myself too often filling out paperwork that doesn’t have a purpose.

I would love to have some international deployment experiences. Are there enough opportunities for this being an HCA? More so than being a LogO?

- There are deployment opportunities and a couple of postings outside Canada as well (USA, Germany at the Capt rank and a couple of others at the Maj rank). Opportunities largely depend on where you are working though and if you have the support of your chain of command. There are likely ‘more’ Log O deployments available, but they are a bigger trade and I’m not sure if anyone here could really give you percentages. As for the RCAF side of things, they’ve been very busy over the last few years so likely they’ve had more deployments, but we are running a facility in Iraq and I think it’s safe to say we are all waiting to see if ‘the next mission’ also includes a facility. If it does, there will be opportunities for sure as it will normally include an HCA junior officer or 2 (or in the case of Afghanistan 4 or 5 Capt HCAs deployed at a time).

What is the career progression like for HCAs compared to LogOs in terms of moving up in rank? There are a lot less HCAs so I’m assuming there is less competition?

- When I look at my RCAF Log O peers, I would say that they track a pretty similar timeframe for promotion to Maj/LCol. It will always be dependent on the person, but if you are a high performer, you’ll make it to Maj in about the same time in both trades.

Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

- training information upon enrollment can be provided by the recruiting group. For the most part, new officers are offered a full-time French course for 6-9 months upon completion of basic with the goal of reaching the federal government’s BBB level (BAB gets you out of there early). My information could be dated, so ask the recruiting centre. SLT is essential for progressing through the ranks – if you don’t have a valid SLT profile, you will quickly fall behind your peers in promotion to the next rank.

Do you have a choice on if you’re posted to a clinic, field unit, headquarters or training centre? I read something on this thread about ending up being a “Shitty Little Jobs Officer” at HQ and I shuddered.

- Health Services prefers to send new HCAs to a field unit to start their careers, but obviously not everyone can start that way. At a field unit you get an introduction to field medicine; get to know the providers and how we deliver care in the field (field exercises, etc). When it comes to people’s personal preferences, it’s always a balance of things – job vs location, etc. For many people, location matters most, so if you decide that it’s a specific job that is most important, then ask for that job in a location that others don’t necessarily want. For example, if you want to run the HR and Finance for a clinic as the Manager of Support Services, ask to go to Wainwright or Cold Lake. They are both great little clinics and not a lot of people want to go there. If you really want to start your career at a field unit (which most of us will say is the best route), then ask to go to Petawawa as there are 3 units (2 large field and 1 small supply depot) and not a lot of people ask to go there. So my advice – find out where people don’t want to go and ask for that. If location stability is something you want, ask to go to Edmonton. Maybe you can start at the Field Ambulance, then transition to the clinic and then maybe find yourself at the HQ there. Assuming you end up on French following basic, wait until the completion of basic and then use this forum contact one of us to find out who the career manager and trade advisor are at the time, then I would encourage you to send them a short email of introduction and outline your posting preferences. If the email includes places that others don’t want to go, then they’ll likely pay closer attention to it. Don’t expect much back and forth dialogue this way or for it to continue once you are posted because then all communications go through your chain of command; but as a newbie, if you want to try and influence things, its best to do it while posting plot is in the planning stage (Nov-Jan timeframe).


Thank you HCA123 for your very informative response! This forum has proved priceless with getting answers to my many questions.

I've decided to move forward with the HCA trade. I'm not even sure why I was hesitant to begin with as I've always had a passion and affinity for the health industry. Thank you for being available as a resource for additional questions.
 

MedCorps

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As requested in PM... here are my thoughts.

The reason I chose Log-AIR is because I think it gels well with my strengths (I’m analytical and detail oriented) and think it’s dynamic trade with fresh challenges that’ll keep me busy and not so bogged down in paperwork. I also think that it’s a trade that’s not so niche and so will make for easier transition to civilian life should I choose to.

-Do you find the HCA trade to be fresh and dynamic without becoming too routine/mundane with lots of tedious paperwork being the majority of the tasks?

I think it is a dynamic occupation with lots of options for employment in a number of different areas within the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. At the entry level (Lt / Capt) postings in field units, the training centre, base medical clinics as a support services manager (finance, human resources, medical records, infrastructure) or in a HQ as a junior staff officer. There are even a few postings outside of Canada for Captains, such as in Washington DC and in Europe.  There is some paperwork, that is the life of an officer, but it is not overly tedious or mundane but rather is the tool to execute effect. 

- I would love to have some international deployment experiences. Are there enough opportunities for this being an HCA? More so than being a LogO?


I am not sure what deployments look like for AIR LOG but HCAs deploy whenever we have some critical mass of personnel on the ground or access to healthcare is difficult.  I know we have HCA (Capt / Maj) deployed right now in Iraq, Latvia and Ukraine. 

What is the career progression like for HCAs compared to LogOs in terms of moving up in rank? There are a lot less HCAs so I’m assuming there is less competition?

I would suggest it is about the same.  Maybe a little easier to get to Major HCA but a little harder to get to LCol as there is a requirement to be selected for occupational transfer to the Health Services Officer (HSO) occupation.  The conversion to the executive steam (HSO) requires three years in rank as an HCA before your file can come before the board to be considered for selection.  There is the sound competition for HSO selection and promotion from HSO Major to LCol.

- Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

Not mandatory as a Capt / Maj. Certainly helps for selection to HSO and pretty much now a requirement at BBB for promotion to LCol.  If you want to progress ahead of your peers, language training matters as a Sr. Capt or as a new Maj in the five year striking distance to HSO selection. New HCA's are not being sent to French jail, I mean French course, right off of basic anymore unless they are at RMCC. That is a bit of a dated practice and most HCA's now come off of BMOQ and proceed to their first posting while awaiting HSOSOC and BHCA courses. 

- Do you have a choice on if you’re posted to a clinic, field unit, headquarters or training centre? I read something on this thread about ending up being a “Shitty Little Jobs Officer” at HQ and I shuddered.


No choice, but you can suggest where you want to go and what you want to do. I generally phrase it like, "I serve at Her Majesty's pleasure and will go anywhere I am required, however I am really interested in field service in 1 Field Ambulance or working as a Support Services Manager in Comox if those are options currently".  As a Lt I would set your sights on the field force for 2-4 years and then as a Capt make your next move. Avoid at all cost a HQ as a Lt and shy away from CF H Svcs Gp HQ in Ottawa as a Capt if that  possible.

I hope that helps.  Good luck on your selection. You background seems to fit well with the type of HCA the Royal Canadian Medical Service is looking for. You will be able to leverage your education and skills as a member of the CF H Svc Gp with out a doubt. It is rewarding to provide the administrative support and leadership to enable a complex health care system provide top quality care to the members of the CAF. 

Cheers,

MC
 

T.I

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MedCorps said:
As requested in PM... here are my thoughts.

The reason I chose Log-AIR is because I think it gels well with my strengths (I’m analytical and detail oriented) and think it’s dynamic trade with fresh challenges that’ll keep me busy and not so bogged down in paperwork. I also think that it’s a trade that’s not so niche and so will make for easier transition to civilian life should I choose to.

-Do you find the HCA trade to be fresh and dynamic without becoming too routine/mundane with lots of tedious paperwork being the majority of the tasks?

I think it is a dynamic occupation with lots of options for employment in a number of different areas within the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. At the entry level (Lt / Capt) postings in field units, the training centre, base medical clinics as a support services manager (finance, human resources, medical records, infrastructure) or in a HQ as a junior staff officer. There are even a few postings outside of Canada for Captains, such as in Washington DC and in Europe.  There is some paperwork, that is the life of an officer, but it is not overly tedious or mundane but rather is the tool to execute effect. 

- I would love to have some international deployment experiences. Are there enough opportunities for this being an HCA? More so than being a LogO?


I am not sure what deployments look like for AIR LOG but HCAs deploy whenever we have some critical mass of personnel on the ground or access to healthcare is difficult.  I know we have HCA (Capt / Maj) deployed right now in Iraq, Latvia and Ukraine. 

What is the career progression like for HCAs compared to LogOs in terms of moving up in rank? There are a lot less HCAs so I’m assuming there is less competition?

I would suggest it is about the same.  Maybe a little easier to get to Major HCA but a little harder to get to LCol as there is a requirement to be selected for occupational transfer to the Health Services Officer (HSO) occupation.  The conversion to the executive steam (HSO) requires three years in rank as an HCA before your file can come before the board to be considered for selection.  There is the sound competition for HSO selection and promotion from HSO Major to LCol.

- Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

Not mandatory as a Capt / Maj. Certainly helps for selection to HSO and pretty much now a requirement at BBB for promotion to LCol.  If you want to progress ahead of your peers, language training matters as a Sr. Capt or as a new Maj in the five year striking distance to HSO selection. New HCA's are not being sent to French jail, I mean French course, right off of basic anymore unless they are at RMCC. That is a bit of a dated practice and most HCA's now come off of BMOQ and proceed to their first posting while awaiting HSOSOC and BHCA courses. 

- Do you have a choice on if you’re posted to a clinic, field unit, headquarters or training centre? I read something on this thread about ending up being a “Shitty Little Jobs Officer” at HQ and I shuddered.


No choice, but you can suggest where you want to go and what you want to do. I generally phrase it like, "I serve at Her Majesty's pleasure and will go anywhere I am required, however I am really interested in field service in 1 Field Ambulance or working as a Support Services Manager in Comox if those are options currently".  As a Lt I would set your sights on the field force for 2-4 years and then as a Capt make your next move. Avoid at all cost a HQ as a Lt and shy away from CF H Svcs Gp HQ in Ottawa as a Capt if that  possible.

I hope that helps.  Good luck on your selection. You background seems to fit well with the type of HCA the Royal Canadian Medical Service is looking for. You will be able to leverage your education and skills as a member of the CF H Svc Gp with out a doubt. It is rewarding to provide the administrative support and leadership to enable a complex health care system provide top quality care to the members of the CAF. 

Cheers,

MC

Thank you for your response MedCorps, I really appreciate the info you provided. I'm looking forward to beginning my career as an HCA in the CAF!
 

da1root

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HCA123 said:
Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

- training information upon enrollment can be provided by the recruiting group. For the most part, new officers are offered a full-time French course for 6-9 months upon completion of basic with the goal of reaching the federal government’s BBB level (BAB gets you out of there early). My information could be dated, so ask the recruiting centre. SLT is essential for progressing through the ranks – if you don’t have a valid SLT profile, you will quickly fall behind your peers in promotion to the next rank.
MedCorps said:
- Is second language training required/mandatory for HCAs?

Not mandatory as a Capt / Maj. Certainly helps for selection to HSO and pretty much now a requirement at BBB for promotion to LCol.  If you want to progress ahead of your peers, language training matters as a Sr. Capt or as a new Maj in the five year striking distance to HSO selection. New HCA's are not being sent to French jail, I mean French course, right off of basic anymore unless they are at RMCC. That is a bit of a dated practice and most HCA's now come off of BMOQ and proceed to their first posting while awaiting HSOSOC and BHCA courses. 

Weighing in from the Recruiting side since Recruiting was mentioned.  SLT is no longer a requirement for any officer occupation from a Recruiting perspective.  SLT will be mandated by the Occupational Authority (Career Manager) for each Occupation upon completion of the Basic Military Officer Qualification.

Where we're instructed as Recruiters is that for most occupations there is no requirement for SLT until someone reaches the Senior Staff Officer level (Maj/LCol), unless there is a requirement to do it sooner as mandated within the occupation.
 

Koval95

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I am graduating from university this spring with a bachelor's in health management from York U, and I was looking into applying as a healthcare administrator. I was wondering if it would be better to pursue a master's degree in a university/ RMC, or try to apply for this job right away with a bachelor's.

I would think enrolling in the RMC/ other university for a master's in public admin. would perhaps improve the chances of getting an offer. I would still prefer to work in the army as I think it would be much more interesting. I was wondering if anyone has tried applying for this with a bachelors? how competitive is it? was also wondering of any other insights I should now of, since I am not very acquainted with the process and the progression in this field.
Thank you!
 

jitterbug

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Koval95 said:
I am graduating from university this spring with a bachelor's in health management from York U, and I was looking into applying as a healthcare administrator. I was wondering if it would be better to pursue a master's degree in a university/ RMC, or try to apply for this job right away with a bachelor's.

I would think enrolling in the RMC/ other university for a master's in public admin. would perhaps improve the chances of getting an offer. I would still prefer to work in the army as I think it would be much more interesting. I was wondering if anyone has tried applying for this with a bachelors? how competitive is it? was also wondering of any other insights I should now of, since I am not very acquainted with the process and the progression in this field.
Thank you!

Personally, I would apply with the bachelor's.  Not too many people will have that particular degree and depending on your experience that may be to your advantage.  Having a Masters you are over qualified for an entry level job which in the case of the military isn't a bad thing but its a tremendous amount of effort for what I would consider a small amount of advantage.  Get in with the bachelors and let the military pay for you to get the Masters.  Look at it from a financial perspective as well.  The sooner you start working, the sooner you start earning and getting raises and experience.  The worst thing that could happen is that you aren't selected and you go and do your Masters anyway.  The level of competition varies from year to year depending on needs of the service and the numbers and types of applicants so it is impossible to say how competitive it is at any given time.  The fact that you will have completed your degree puts you higher in the pile than many people that haven't.

When you apply you request what element you want (Land-Army, Sea-Navy or Air-Airforce).  There is no guarantee which one you will get but as an HCA you are what is called a purple trade so you can be any element and work in any environment so your element doesn't really matter in that occupation.
 
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