Nick To is a health information science student at the University of Victoria. He joined our Analytics & Strategic Initiatives team as a Health Data Analyst for his co-op program this summer, and we recently sat down to chat with him about the experience.
Can you describe the co-op program?
The co-op program is built into the health information science degree – it’s designed so that students take roughly one co-op term per year. One reason I wanted to do co-op was because it’s known to help students start their careers after graduating. Also, I know I learn best when given the opportunity to put lessons into practice, so participating in the co-op program was an obvious choice for me.
Can you give a brief overview of the projects you’ve worked on this summer?
My focus this summer was improving care for patients with sepsis. The main project I worked on was to create an interactive dashboard to support quality improvement in hospitals and emergency departments. I also helped with ad hoc COVID reporting, updating reports and even got to contribute to Quality Academy Online.
What does a day in the life look like for you?
Outside of working at the Council, something interesting I’ve been trying out is photogrammetry, 3D modelling and 3D printing. I’ve been using free and open-source programs in addition to lessons and tutorials made by the online community. There are a lot of cool things you can make, like lithophanes or phone holders. I’ve spent a lot of my evenings experimenting to see what I can come up with!
What are your key takeaways from your co-op experience?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about something. It’s okay to rely on your team for help and they’ll rely on you as well.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining the Council?
Go for it. Everyone I met at the Council is great and welcoming, and there are people with diverse backgrounds in health care. There are a lot of different perspectives to learn from! I spent my four months with the Analytics & Strategic Initiatives team, and they made sure that I was involved in their projects while still offering time to pursue professional development opportunities. It was a lot of fun working with them.