Here I am, in Dublin, Ireland! I’m Katja, a third year radiography student and I’ve spent the last month figuring out how to be as irish as possible and experiencing all that Dublin has to offer. Time has been flying, as anyone on an exchange would say! Good thing there is still plenty of time to see Ireland outside of Dublin aswell. The picture above is from the Sugarloaf Mountain in County Wicklow. We went there before continuing on to Glendalough, and boy was it windy….only a 500 m climb, but it felt like something much, much more because of the not so gentle breeze we got to enjoy;) But we ended up on top!
So far I’ve been doing my study modules at University College Dublin, we had a few weeks of lectures before we started our clinical placement. I’m doing three modules here; cardiac interventional radiography, advanced CT and forensic radiography (which sounds like something out of CSI, which it kind of is but kind of isn’t:D). I’ve enjoyed the lectures a lot, they’ve been a bit different than what I’m used to back in TAMK. Definitely more interactive, probably because of the small group size.
I just finished my first 3 weeks at the hospital where I’m doing MRI, CT, general x-ray, fluoroscopy, interventional radiography, mammography and cardiac catheterisation lab. So, quite a lot of things to see and do, I like it! The hospital I’m in is a very modern one and many of the equipment I’ve already seen in Finland during placements, so on that part there hasn’t been too much of a culture shock to be seen. Hand hygiene is a different thing, I’m still finding it hard to get used to the lack of hand gels at the hospital. They exist, but once emptied, it can take weeks for them to get filled again, because of the lack of use:D Other than that, I’ve found the experience great in so many ways, you can’t really compare placement in Finland to one abroad. There’s the use of a foreign language, handling the sometimes impossibly broad scale of Irish accents that patients come in with and just the every day things you take for granted back at home, like washing your hands quickly. Yes, I’ve had my battles with the double taps, but I think we’re fine now.
I’ve learned a lot about my future job as a radiographer, I’ve gained an even bigger passion for what I do and I’ve also learned that there are things I still have to learn. And that’s pretty much what this entire Erasmus thing is for, right? Oh and Guinness. In Ireland, there is always time for a pint and a good craic with your friends. Especially the awesome new international ones!