Sunday, November 11, 2012

Job Fatigue and Itchy Feet

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Mid-twenties crisis actually, to round up (I'm 24). I've become disillusioned with my job and my feet are itching to travel. Let's start with the disillusionment.

I've been in my current job for a year and nine months and while it has served me well in many respects, I can't help but feel I'm becoming 'institutionalized' so to speak. I've gained decent experience in nuclear medicine, cannulation and angiography- opportunities which may not have been afforded to me in other hospitals but I suspect that working in a private healtchare setting is no longer benefiting me as a radiographer in the longterm. I think it's safe to say that I have a fairly 'cushie' job. I know exactly what's expected of me, I know how things are run, I don't get frazzled easily. Which leads me to ask the question: am I being suitably challenged? I often hear older more experienced colleagues say that a newly qualified radiographer's first job should be in a large public hospital to get experience in dealing with everything a busy A&E department is going to throw at you. Having never worked independently in this kind of scenario, I've never been confronted with patients from road-traffic accidents, those with serious spinal/head injuries or other major traumas or indeed the dreaded drunkards, and had to really think about how to image them. Of course, I am a fully trained radiographer, in theory I know what to do in these situations but actually being there at 3am and getting stuck in is a different thing entirely. A&E can be intimidating, it's unpredictable and forces you to adapt your technique to get the best images possible. It's where every radiographer should start. But I didn't.

Where am I going with all of this? It brings us nicely to the topic of my itchy feet (I hate this saying for wanting to travel but I can't think of a better metaphor!) Basically I have decided to go to Australia for a year. Let me explain why this isn't (completely) a non-sequitar. It's well known (in x-ray circles at least!) that Australian radiographers are shit hot. Radiography in Australia is much stricter than here in Ireland and they have earned a reputation of having very high imaging standards. So imagine how shit hot I'd be after working there for a year! I'd be combining my job fatigue with my desire to travel. Double win for me!

Okay, I'd be lying if I said the radiography thing is the main reason for wanting to travel to Australia. I've touched on why I want to go in a previous post. Add to this the fact that as of June last year, cost-cutting measures have caused a considerable reduction in my wages and since the department is extremely short-staffed at the moment, it's a day to day struggle to keep each area covered and it's really beginning to get tiring. So, yeah, get me the hell out of here!

As it stands, my plan is to go in June 2013. I have my visa already, turns out it's extremely quick and easy to get a visa for Oz, just a simple online application. They hard bit is all the paperwork required to enable me to work over there. This can take months to process. So anyway, I'm fairly on the ball with all of that stuff. The only thing I can do now is wait. Wait and imagine all of the things I can do and see in Australia, and where I can go after my year in Oz is up. The possibilities are endless!

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