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!