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Monday, October 22, 2012

My internship at the Health Council of Canada

Yvonne Tse was a 2011-2012 winner of the Health Innovation Challenge. As part of her prize, she had the chance to intern at the Health Council of Canada. Read her winning entry here
Working at the Health Council of Canada was a wonderful learning experience that offered an incredible exposure to current health care issues. Working in a national organization was initially overwhelming. However, the staff were incredibly supportive and approachable and eased my transition into my role as an intern for the past four months. As a result, I was able to participate and provide research support for a number of high quality reports. These projects refined my research skills and expanded my knowledge and perspective about Canada's current health care system.

I have conducted environmental scans for topics like integrated care and clinical practice guidelines, focusing particularly on activities in each jurisdiction across Canada. This was an opportunity to build on the research skills I’ve learned throughout my nursing degree thus far. It is easy to simply collect and summarize information, however, the more interesting and difficult part is learning how to critically analyse the collected information to determine its strength and applicability.

The privilege of sitting in on some of the meetings with the Health Council of Canada Councillors was another unique experience I had this summer. Being able to listen to the conversations and discussion about ongoing projects and hearing their perspectives on various health policy topics was very different and definitely contributed to my understanding of the policy-making processes happening behind the scenes on a national level. The amount of dedication, time and effort spent on discussion of health care issues and projects was very impressive.

Currently, I'm entering into my third year of the Nursing program at McMaster University and I'm hoping to transfer the new knowledge I've obtained at the Health Council of Canada into my clinical placements and other aspects of my nursing career. My experience at the Health Council helped me realize that I still have much to learn and I'm encouraged to seek opportunities in the future to enrich my understanding of the health care system. I hope my experience will encourage other students to apply

Yvonne with fellow Health Innovation Challenge winner and intern
Galina Gheihman. Read Galina's blog here. 

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