OPH Unpaid Post-Secondary Learner Placement Requests

For over 125 years, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has provided public health programs and services to individuals and communities in Ottawa. Our bilingual services and programs are delivered in a variety of settings where people live, work, learn, and play and target people of all ages, all abilities and from all cultures. Protecting and promoting health and preventing disease is part of everything that we do.

OPH is committed to providing enriching learning experiences to students in order to build skills and knowledge for the next generation of public health professionals.

  1. Eligibility Criteria
  2. Unpaid Learner Placement Opportunities
  3. Application Process
  4. Placement Requirements
  5. Training Requirements

Eligibility Criteria

Placement opportunities are dependent on program capacity and availability.

To be eligible for an unpaid learner placement at Ottawa Public Health, the following must be fulfilled:

  • You are currently enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution in Ontario registered with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
  • Your placement must be a curriculum requirement for graduation from your academic program.
  • A formal student placement agreement between Ottawa Public Health and your school must be in place. Note: If there is no existing agreement in place, it may take on average 3 months to establish an agreement.
  • You must meet a series of requirements (e.g., immunization, police record – vulnerable sector check) to be eligible for placement. Your school is responsible for confirming compliance with these requirements prior to the start of the placement.

Unpaid Learner Placement Opportunities

We offer unpaid post-secondary learner placements in the following disciplines:

Dental Hygiene

OPH offers observational experiences at its dental clinics for students enrolled at publicly funded colleges in Ottawa. Student should speak with their program’s clinical coordinator who will follow the established process to request placements for their students.

Master of Public Health

The following projects are available for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Anti-racism training as an approach to strengthen diversity, inclusion and equity in public health practices and policies

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Service area  Knowledge Exchange, Planning & Quality
Program/team

Population Health Approach

Preceptor's master degree field Nursing

Project outline

It is increasingly understood that structural racism is the root cause of health and social inequities experienced by Indigenous and racialized peoples in Canada. This project is intended to complement and build on a research study that OPH is undertaking to improve mental health and well-being for the African-Caribbean-Black (ACB) communities in Ottawa. Findings of the OPH study are expected to inform strategies to enhance access to culturally safe public health services.

Objectives

To explore anti-racism training as an approach to strengthen diversity, inclusion and equity in public health practice and policies.

Target population

Public health practitioners

Activities

Literature review; Collaborate with/support ACB research assistant as required; Develop a briefing note; Participate in the co-development, implementation and evaluation of an anti-racism training workshop

Deliverables

  • A critical appraisal of the published and grey literature related to effective anti-racism training initiatives for health service providers (e.g. including content, methodology, interactive activities);
  • Briefing note highlighting recommended wise practices, assessment tools & training resources for public health;
  • Co-facilitate anti-racism training workshop(s) for OPH employees (at least one)

Will the student have the opportunity to interact with their target population?

Yes, the Population Health Approach Team (PHT) supports organizational capacity development. The student would be expected to work with a team member(s) to design, plan, implement and evaluate at least one (1) anti-racism professional development activity at OPH.

Specific requirements

Student transportation

Students are expected to assume their own transportation to/from clinical/community site.

  • Car not required

Language requirements

  • English (essential), spoken and written
  • French (preferred), spoken and written

Special skills

  • Presentation skills/public speaking
  • Special computer skills
  • Research/literature searches
  • Other: Experience working with, or being a member of, a racialized community would be considered an asset

Availability

  • Days
Health promotion strategies to reduce the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted enteric infections (STEIs)

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Preceptor name 2 preceptors – one content expert and one with Masters in epidemiology
Service area  Health Protection 
Program/team 
  • Primary: Enteric and Zoonotic Infections & Epidemiology
  • Secondary: STBBI
Preceptor's master degree field Epidemiology

Project outline

The Enteric and Zoonotic Infections (EZI) team within the Health Protection Service branch of Ottawa Public Health (OPH) are responsible for the timely and accurate public health management of persons reported to be infected with an agent of a communicable disease. This includes the case management of enteric infections such as Hepatitis A, shigellosis, amebiasis and giardiasis, which are transmitted via the fecal-oral route and therefore, also often sexually transmitted. Case management of sexually transmitted and blood borne infections such as chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhea, are the responsibility of case managers within the Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections (STBBI) unit, a separate unit from the EZI team. The need for cross-team integration to ensure consistent counselling for clients that have enteric infections that may be transmitted sexually is an increasing need, as there have been an increasing number of cases of sexually transmitted enteric infection (STEI) cases in Ottawa and Ontario. These cases may also experience more than one type of infection due to various risk behaviors, resulting in multiple points of contact with public health.

Retrospective literature review by OPH staff was conducted in 2018 of the previous 10 years, dating back to January 2008. The intent of this review was to examine the epidemiology, risk factors and interventions for STEIs in Ottawa, Canada, and other similar countries. Original research, meta-analyses, systematic reviews, non-systematic narrative reviews reporting on acute symptomatic episodes of sexually-transmitted infections of the GI tract were reviewed. An environmental scan with consults to nearby health units was also conducted. Epidemiology of all STEIs in Ottawa were also reviewed by OPH epidemiologists to determine local trends.

As a result of this review, recommendations included additional research (potential systematic review) and further analyses of reportable disease data. In addition, interventions such as enhanced data collection for cases of reportable enteric infections, more collaboration between EZI and STBBI teams, client education to promote awareness about STEIs and how to avoid transmission, and health promotion with at-risk communities and their healthcare providers were also recommended strategies for future consideration.

The EZI team is interested in the best way to reach the target audience and increase awareness and provide education to clients to decrease transmission and burden of STEIs in Ottawa. The EZI team is also required to identify local sources of infections, detect and manage outbreaks and exclude those that have enteric infections from places of work which may put the community at risk, such as food handlers and health care providers. The development of tools and resources to reach the target audience and for internal staff use to facilitate better communication between case managers would be beneficial to increase this awareness and potentially decrease transmission of STEIs. The Master of Public Health student would be responsible for exploring options to meet these needs and work towards fulfillment of the recommendations provided based on the research and compilation of data described above.

Will the student have the opportunity to interact with their target population?

Yes, the MPH student would have the opportunity to work with case managers who interview individuals who have STEIs. 

Specific requirements

Student transportation

Students are expected to assume their own transportation to/from clinical/community site.

  • Car not required

Language requirements

  • English, spoken and written

Special skills

  • Presentation skills/public speaking: Presentation of findings to OPH staff
  • Special computer skills: Excel, PowerPoint, Word. Knowledge of Stata (statistical software) would be an asset but not required
  • Research/literature searches: Although searched not needed, need to be able to consolidate previous research completed

Availability

  • Days
Violence Prevention – Bystander Intervention

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Service area  Health Promotion
Program/team 

Chronic Disease Injury Prevention/Injury Prevention Team

Project outline

Explore how to implement bystander intervention across different populations including bar and restaurant patrons and staff and students in post secondary institutions. Outputs would include a needs assessment, environmental scan and an evaluation framework. 

Will the student have the opportunity to interact with their target population?

Yes

Specific requirements

Student transportation

Students are expected to assume their own transportation to/from clinical/community site.

  • Car not required

Language requirements

  • English, spoken and written
  • French, an asset

Special skills

  • Presentation skills/public speaking

Availability

  • Days

To apply, complete the application process by February 1, 2019 and indicate your projects of interest.

Applications will be reviewed by the project lead. The OPH Student Placement Coordinator will contact you if you are selected for an interview.

Medical Student Electives
  • OPH offers consecutive 2-week electives ONLY
  • Maximum 2 learners each month
  • Check calendar for available dates

NOTE: Must apply a least 3 months in advance of placement

Under the supervision of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) or an Associate Medical Officer of Health (AMOH), the learner will be exposed to the breadth of programs and services offered by Ottawa Public Health (OPH) in the areas of health promotion, health protection, disease prevention and surveillance.

Medical students will participate in:

  • scheduled field observation activities and meetings with a variety of OPH programs (e.g. dental screening, Sexual Health Center, Immunization, restaurant inspections)
  • weekly teaching sessions with the MOH and/or AMOHs and public health residents to discuss public health medicine and related issues
  • weekly Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program Academic Half Days at the University of Ottawa

Note: The student will not be involved in direct patient care during this elective.

To apply:

  1. University of Ottawa students
  2. Students enrolled at universities outside of Ottawa should apply through the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) portal
Medical student elective dates
  • January 14 to 25, 2019
  • February 11 to 22, 2019
  • March – No electives offered
  • April 8 to 19, 2019
  • May 6 to 17, 2019
  • June 3 to 14, 2019
  • July – No electives offered
  • August – No electives offered
  • September 9 to 20, 2019
  • October 7 to 18, 2019
  • November 4 to 15, 2019
  • December 2 to 13, 2019
Medical Resident Electives and Rotations

OPH offers the following standard rotations for residents:

  • Public Health and Preventive Medicine – various rotations
  • Infectious Disease (Adult and Peds) – standard 1-month CD rotation

OPH may offer resident electives depending on fit and appropriateness of elective sought.

Please note:

  1. Placement opportunities are dependent on availability of the Medical Officer of Health or Associate Medical Officers of Health to supervise.
  2. Must apply a least 3 months in advance

To apply:

  1. University of Ottawa residents/fellows
  2. Residents/Fellows enrolled at universities outside of Ottawa should express interest to the PHPM Residency Program at the University of Ottawa
Nursing

We offer learner placement opportunities for the following nursing programs:

  • BScN
  • MScN
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-RN
  • Practical Nursing

University and College program coordinators must send their requests through the Health Sciences Placement Network (HSPnet) for consideration. Colleges and universities not registered with HSPnet, should follow the application process to request a placement.

Note: Priority for placements is given to learners from local institutions.

Nutrition and Dietetics

OPH offers placement opportunities for nutrition and dietetic interns. Processes to request placements have been established with some universities. Before applying for placement, students should speak with their program’s placement coordinator. The coordinator will follow the pre-established process to request placements for their students.

At this time, OPH is not offering practicum opportunities for students studying at post-secondary education institutions outside of Canada or the province of Ontario.

Application Process

Many academic institutions have program coordinators responsible for seeking and requesting placement opportunities for their students. While at others, it is the student’s responsibility to seek their own placement.

For placements in Nursing, program coordinators should send their request through HSPnet.

For students seeking their own placement:

1. Complete the OPH Unpaid Post-Secondary Learner Placement Application Form

2. Submit your completed form at least three months prior to the start date of your practicum.

3. Upload and send the following documents with your Placement Application Form:

  • Course outline/syllabus for the placement – not required for placements in medicine
  • Student evaluation tool for the placement – not required for placements in medicine
  • Curriculum vitae – for MPH practicums only

The OPH Student Placement Coordinator will review your application and contact you should a placement opportunity be available. Please note: some placements may have a bilingualism and/or vehicle requirement.

Placement Requirements

The Educational Institution, before the beginning of the placement, must provide in writing that the students, residents, and fellows scheduled for placement meet the requirements listed below:

Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector

  • A valid and clear Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector dated within twelve (12) months of the start date of the educational experience.
  • Exception – University of Ottawa medical residents/fellows
    • For trainees who started before July 1, 2012 - The University will confirm in writing that as a requirement of registration and in order to maintain the right to practice medicine in Ontario, the resident/fellow has submitted to a criminal record screen in accordance with Policy #7-02 of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
    • For trainees who started on July 1, 2012 onward - The University will confirm in writing that as a requirement of registration and in order to maintain the right to practice medicine in Ontario, the resident/fellow has submitted to a criminal record screen in accordance with Policy #7-02 of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Also, the University will confirm that the resident/fellow has submitted to a Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector on admission to the Residency Program.
    • For trainees who started on July 1, 2012 onward and have been with the program for more than one year – the University will also confirm in writing that the resident/fellow has also completed annual Vulnerable Sector Police Check Self-Declaration form(s) as required by the University.

Immunization

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria: booster within last 10 years
  • Polio: childhood or adult primary series
  • MMR: 2 doses or serology with proof of  immunity for all three diseases if only one dose
  • Hepatitis B series: for learners with potential contact with blood, body fluids, sharps and/or blood contaminated items
  • Seasonal Influenza, current season
  • Varicella: history of disease, serology or vaccine
  • Pertussis: adult dose of acellular pertussis
  • Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) within the last year; (either two-step baseline TST or one-step TST if student has previously had a two-step TST)
    • Learners with positive TST – confirmation that the learner is asymptomatic 

College of Nurses of Ontario – Certificate of Registration

Post-RN, Masters in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner students

  • The Educational Institution will confirm in writing, that the student has a valid Certificate of Registration from the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

  • Student - The Educational Institution will ensure and confirm WSIB coverage through the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the entire duration of the student’s placement at OPH.
  • Medical resident/Fellow - The Educational Institution/paymaster will confirm in writing that they will provide WSIB coverage for the learner for the entire duration of the learner’s placement at OPH.

Car and Insurance

  • Some placements may require the use of a motor vehicle. When applicable, proof of valid motor vehicle liability insurance will be requested. 

Training Requirements

All learners must complete mandatory e-learning modules including: Accessibility, Baby-Friendly Initiative, Hand Hygiene, Workplace Health and Safety prior to commencing their placement. Information on how to access these and other modules will be provided once the placement is confirmed.

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