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Need to Know Before 1st Day

By now you’ve had a chance to explore the VCH Orientation landing page and learn about VCH as an organization. This module expands on that content and outlines what is expected of you, and what you can expect from VCH — information that will help you in your transition to your new role, whatever that may be!


The most important information I need to know.

About VCH

Working Here

Fostering a Culture of Respect



The geographic area covered by VCH includes Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, the Sunshine Coast, the Sea-to-Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella, and Bella Coola. We recognize that our places of work and VCH facilities lie on the traditional homelands of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo, Lil’wat, Musqueam, Nuxalk, N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Shíshálh, Skatin, Squamish, Tla’amin, Tsleil-Waututh, Wuikinuxv, and Xa’xtsa peoples. There are approximately 30,000 self-identified Aboriginal peoples living in the VCH region, including approximately 8,000 Métis people.

Patient Population & Services


VCH serves one of the most culturally, economically, and geographically diverse populations in the province. We provide a wide range of primary, secondary and specialized health care services to over 1.25 million people, and are the main centre for academic health care (clinical service, research and teaching) in BC. To learn more about the communities served by VCH please explore the Your Care page on the VCH website.

Vision & Values


The VCH vision is to come together as one collective health care team so we deliver an exceptional care experience for all. Our VCH values are:

  • We care for everyone
  • We are always learning
  • We strive for better results

Visit the Strategy page to learn more about our VCH strategy, vision and values.

Shared Health Organizations Portal (SHOP)


This is your go-to for organizational policies, and clinical guidelines, procedures and protocols. Start exploring at SHOP.

If you can’t find the document or topic you are looking for on SHOP, check the Links and Resources page or Quick Links on the homepage.

Professional Image


The Vancouver Coastal Health professional image guidelines apply to all staff and leaders, and help us to be easily-identified by patients and each other, maintain infection-control standards, and ensure we are in compliance with WorkSafeBC standards.

You can buy VCH branded work clothing, available in a variety of colours, sizes, and categories.

Talk to your department for any additional dress requirements — some areas have rules around dress code for infection control reasons (e.g. OR, PACU, Critical Care, Reprocessing, Community).

Breastfeeding Initiative


VCH and Providence Health Care has an Infant Feeding (Breastfeeding) Policy. We’re aiming to make all facilities baby-friendly by following the Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services.

Breastfeeding is welcome anytime and anywhere (you’ll recognize the Breastfeeding Decal!). VCH welcomes families and staff to breastfeed and/or express breast milk in all facilities.

If you require more information, you may register for the online course that highlights the Baby Friendly Initiative.

Smoking Cessation


VCH is committed to ensuring a safe, healthy, and clean environment for all. In 2016, the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Regulation were introduced, supporting VCH’s Smoke-Free Premises Policy. The policy bans smoking and use of vapour products on VCH property, including parking lots.

Some Indigenous cultures use tobacco for ceremonial and traditional healing purposes. While the Smoke-Free Premises Policy bans smoking and vaping tobacco, VCH has an Indigenous Cultural Safety Policy that outlines Indigenous clients’ rights to traditional medicine at VCH facilities, including the burning of tobacco.

If you, a friend, or your patient are looking to quit or reduce tobacco or vapour product use, there is free support available (including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), medications, and counselling). For more information, visit Quit Now, the BC Smoking Cessation Program, and/or the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Smoking Cessation Clinic. You can find more details on the VCH Intranet under Regional Tobacco Strategy.

We Care for Everyone

VCH cares about all employees, and the Respectful Workplace Policy and Program reflect this value. 

We’re Always Learning

There are many resources available that inform, educate, and support VCH’s respectful workplace. For additional learning, go to Respectful Workplace–VCH (Online) on the Learning Hub. This is an interactive 30-minute module and provides real scenarios to test your knowledge!

Check with your manager or designate to register for VCH’s 4-hour classroom: “How to Deal with Bullying, Harassment and Conflict in the Workplace.”

We Strive for Better Results

There are options available to staff for reporting and resolving workplace issues:

Employees can go to their manager or HR advisor, or contact Speak Up, a centralized service where you can confidentially report complaints by phone or online. Report by phone by calling a toll-free number at 1 (866) 858-6014, or report online from any computer or mobile device.

Employees can also access mediation services through Human Resources.



Things to do after I finish all courses listed under ‘Before 1st Day’.

VCH Orientation Classroom Content

Soon after starting work you can expect to attend an orientation to VCH, ranging from a few hours to four days, depending on your role. The VCH Orientation Classroom is an opportunity to learn more about the organization and resources available, meet senior leaders, and get to know some of your colleagues.

For more information email or visit


Once you complete all modules in this ‘Before 1st Day’ section, use the ‘Checklist‘ to make sure your progress is recorded.

Then, at your own pace, continue to the next section: ‘1st Week’.

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