Hamida Faiqe, A General Surgeon from Afghanistan [ Part III]
So you haven't had a chance to work in the hospitals in Canada. Correct?
Correct if you meant as a medical professional. I couldn’t even find a PSW position.
What is PSW?
Personal Support Worker in the hospitals and clinics. To become eligible for PSW, we need to take six-month-courses extended up to 12 months for some cases.
Any experience with which you had ever got close to the health related field in your career path in Canada?
A couple of times. I worked for Health Canada as an Administrative Assistant in the Office of Control Substance. I had a six month long contract first and then recalled for three months after.
It seems that you finally had your feet in your field although the job title was involved with Administration. Did Health Canada place you in Administration after the review of your resume?
Not exactly. I found this position through the service of a staffing agency named Quantum. Quantum was the first place responded to my resume after I sent out about a million of them.
Which means, you physically worked in the office of Health Canada, but not as their employee but as an employee of this Staffing Agency. Correct?
What kind of assignments did you work on?
Mostly with general office duties in administration, such as receiving requests from different pharmacies, inputting data in the system, and sending out the authorization letters to pharmacies based on the requests processed by other staff.
How was it like to work for Health Canada in terms of the treatment between its regular employees and someone like you from staffing agency service?
The first office where I worked for six months was quite agreeable. Co-workers were nice, helpful, and respectful to temporary staff like me. But the second contract with three months at a different office was not. It was hard to withstand even for three months. I think it depends on who you get to work with. We are like unappreciated employees.
As we both know, your salary scales are quite different from ones of Health Canada employees when you got a position through staffing agencies, even though you work on the same tasks from the same position with regular employees. Correct?
Exactly. My income back then was at the level of the minimum wage in Ontario. It was $10.25 per hour. All those regular employees who work on the same tasks probably earned over $20 to $25 per hour.
Were you able to manage your living with the income at the minimum wage level?
Not enough as you can imagine. Regardless, there was no position for me to be picky or to complain since I had been unemployed quite a long time and It was only a temporary job.
Over all, despite the prevailing circumstances, you were working in Health related field at last. What was the impression of these experiences?
The job hardly provided opportunities to use much of my medical professional skills and knowledge. But, I was glad that I finally was able to work in the health related environment even with a tiny relation. And it certainly was better than working in stores.