A Glimpse at the Challenges and Rewards of Providing Health Services Up North
What’s it like to provide Medcor’s health services in Canada? Well, it’s interesting and challenging and always an adventure. Need medical care in the middle of a million-acre forest? No problem. Along a pipeline in the dead of winter? Sure thing. At a rocky, hard-to-reach seismic drilling site? We’ve got you covered. Our Mobile Treatment Centers and staff can provide high-level medical care for any worksite emergency or injury. Anywhere health services are needed in Canada, we can be there.
The “Great White North” has a vast array of climates and terrain, people and wildlife that keep us on our toes. We have a saying up here: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes—it will change. So it’s important we are prepared for anything.
When we venture into northern Alberta for pipeline building or directional drilling, only the welders get the day off when it’s -40°C. (Fun fact: -40°C and -40°F are the point on the thermometer where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet as one very cold temperature.) The extreme cold—likely colder with the wind chill—makes a good case for shorter shifts, but there is still lots to do. We ensure our Mobile Treatment Centers, our “clinics-on-wheels” that we use to provide medical care to widespread worksites, stay warm for those “just in case” moments. We remind the workers at our tailgate meetings of the importance of staying covered up and watching for signs of frostbite. Why do we work so hard in the winter when it is so cold? One word: Muskeg. Muskeg is a swampy type of terrain and is found along many of the required pipeline routes. When it is frozen, it is easy to dig and great to drive on; our Mobile Treatment Centers can drive down the right-of-way no differently than on a smooth gravel road. When spring starts to rear its ugly head, the muskeg is not so fun. It becomes smelly and will stick to anything it touches. If it gets too warm, the muskeg will swallow your vehicle whole.
Despite the muskeg, however, summer does have its perks. In the winter we get used to working in the dark—our shortest day is only about 6 ½ hours of sunlight. But in the summer we come to work in the daylight and go home in it too. Sunsets at 11 pm? Yes, please! We can all work our shifts, come home safely and still enjoy the beauty our Canadian summers bring.
Sound interesting? Learn more about what Medcor Canada has to offer.