A Career in Health Care at CSC
Did you know that the Correctional Service of Canada is the largest employer of nurses and psychologists in the federal government? If you are a health care professional who is committed to making a difference in the lives of others, then CSC is the right fit for you. Our health care staff play a key role in addressing the immediate and long-term physical and mental health needs of offenders. We offer learning and professional development opportunities while supporting work/life balance.
To show you what it's like to work with us, we asked some of our health care professionals to speak about their work, the satisfaction they feel as well as the challenges they face within our facilities.
One of the main things I think that contributes to CSC being a great place to work is the opportunities that are available. I've been working with CSC as a social worker for the past three years, but there are quite a few opportunities to move into other areas but still work with the same population. So I can work as a Parole Officer, I can get experience in programs. It really just opens up the door so that if you find you are burnt out or if you find that you are not challenged in your current position, there's loads of avenues to get experience and work for the federal government.
We deal with a large variety of offenders here. A lot of offenders we have are very appreciative of the care. There's always security nearby, so even if you are intimidated by someone there's security. You need to be confident when you come into work and have quick medical answers for them. A lot of times, they're just looking for reassurance and they're generally easy to deal with.
My relationship with the inmates is very much a labour of communication, listening, teaching and treatment with respect to various physical and mental health problems.
What I like most about my role at CSC as a psychologist at the Regional Mental Health Centre is having individual therapy sessions with inmates to really delve into their trauma and look at how they can heal and overcome these problems, and then reintegrate into society.
I find a lot of times in talking with other nurses that have come into CSC that some of the ways that's changed them is that at the beginning they really do spend a lot of time thinking about working with offenders, but our nursing attributes come out in the end and working with the whole person becomes what we need to and want to do. And in the end, that changes you a little bit in a good way because you understand sort of the importance of humanity for everyone.
Working at CSC has made me a much more confident individual. I've gained the respect from a lot of different kind of individuals, both staff and offenders. And it's taken me, it's let me look at myself a little bit differently and I like what I see when I look at myself.
The greatest benefit of working at CSC for me is the diversity of the clientele.
The best part of my job really is coming to work. I enjoy my job. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy giving. I enjoy helping.
A regular day at CSC, I don't think there exists a regular day. In the institution, everything changes minute by minute. You can never come to work with a to-do list. Things just roll and you just have to be on top of your game.
Working at the Correctional Service of Canada can be rewarding for the right person. The ideal candidate for a career in corrections is someone who is compassionate and non-judgmental; someone who wants to help others. Health care professionals not only provide health care services for offenders, but also contribute to CSC's mission of helping offenders to become law abiding citizens while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.
The feature that I find remarkable at the Correctional Service is the variety of tasks that can be completed at different areas. For me, it's managing finances and staff; and being part of various projects in the Quebec Region or at the national level.
CSC is a federal government agency, so on top of the things I like about my actual job – the autonomy and the helpfulness that you can provide for offenders, the interaction that you have with a lot of staff – on top of that, I've got a good decent pension, I've got a great annual leave and sick leave and family-related. There's all those types of benefits that people need to be aware of as well.
I think we're talking about an employer that is open to comments, may change slowly but hears what is being said and that is ready to make changes to ensure that it happens.
We are faced with many different dilemmas, be it ethical dilemmas. We deal with many different types of problems and that in itself can be very satisfying because we feel like we make an impact I think every day when we're dealing with the offenders.
The Correctional Service has a good work atmosphere. There is a lot of team work being done. We work with the guards, the health care professionals for all levels, doctors, optometrists, dentists, etc. There is a lot of interaction. We interact quite a bit with mental health too. It takes a lot of communication, trust and respect mutual respect.
I would have no hesitation whatsoever anywhere, anytime, recommending it as a place to work. We can certainly make more money on the street, but you have the opportunity here to work regular hours with a great bunch of people. And I find it very rewarding in terms of the relationship I have made with the staff and with many of the inmates in the institution. I really think we have a position here where we can make a huge difference in how health care is perceived by the inmate population.
A part of nursing at CSC that I find interesting is the expanded role. We are able to follow up, conduct in-depth investigations with our institutional doctor of course, but we are also often autonomous in what we can do.
At the Correctional Service of Canada we are looking for talented people, the kind who are engaged and passionate and who want to be part of shaping the future. CSC is committed to developing and maintaining a strong and diverse workforce that reflects the wider Canadian community that we serve. Whether you are a health care graduate or an experienced health care professional, CSC can offer you the kind of exciting and challenging experience that no other workplace can.
If you want to contribute to changing lives and protecting Canadians, join our team.