Your role will vary significantly depending on the location. The support available to you and your scope of practice will also vary depending on your workplace – from sole practitioner to part of larger team, private practice to government health service position.
Research your new job by talking to health professionals who are out there doing it - find out what it's like for them. This is all information you can find out before you apply for the position, at interview or after you have been successfully secured a position.
Below are some particular issues you might want to look into.
- Types of services and health professionals at the site
- Work setting (e.g. hospital, community health etc)
- Access to a senior/experienced professional for supervision and support
- Requirements of the job
- Working hours (including on call etc)
- Types of clients/caseload
- Requirements for travel (e.g remote trips)
- Types of service delivery
- Resources available
- Orientation program
- Access to professional development
- Degree of remoteness or isolation of the setting
- Study allowances, including leave to access courses and financial support to attend
- Mechanisms to support cultural awareness training and support
- Occupational health and safety arrangements
- Access to IT (computer /intranet).
Some employers will offer assistance with relocation. This may involve reimbursement of relocation costs or provision of accommodation allowances. Find out if you have access to relocation support.
Place of residence is a big part of moving to the country. This is the place that you spend the second most amount of time in (outside of work). Some health services may offer short term or long-term subsidised accommodation options. Prior to starting explore your accommodation options.
If accommodation support is available make sure you investigate:
- Rates for accommodation
- Whether the accommodation is suitable for partners, children and pets
- Distance between accommodation, health site and town centre
- Provision of furnishings, whitegoods, white goods, cookware, cutlery, crockery and linen.
If accommodation support isn't available make sure you investigate:
- Rental and property market
- Rental and housing prices
- Furniture hire (if required)
- Local realtors / real estate agents.
It's also a good idea to get to know as much as you can about the community before you arrive. Much of this information you can find on the Internet. Alteratively have a chat to people who live in the community (the local tourism centre can be extremely helpful, as can other local health professionals). Another option is to visit the community before you start, this gives you a good chance to have a look around.
Some things to find out about the community include:
- Things to do
- Things to see
- Special events and local activities
- Community size
- Distance from major centres
- Community facilities and amenities
- Travel and transport (how to get there and get around).
Before you start & You
- Have you found out all you need to about your new role and community?
- What additional steps can you take to source information?