It was a grand exchange period in Ireland I had. I met some great people and enjoyed my time fully. I studied in UCD (University College Dublin) and the radiography program was very good there. We had two modules: Irish Culture and Cardiac Imaging. I really liked the lecturers and their English was really easy to understand which I wasn’t expecting. It is amazing how quickly one adapts to another language and culture. The three months felt such a short time and flew by so fast.
For seven weeks I did a clinical placement in St. Vincent’s University Hospital. The people there were extremely nice and welcoming there. I lived with 13 other girls and five of them were also studying radiography so I had loads of support. At the hospital we did one week in each modality: General radiography, CT, MRI, IR, Cath Lab, Theatre and a few days in mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and emergency department. It was nice to see the whole range of radiographers work in SVUH. The hospital is moderately modern and has 4 general x-ray rooms, two CT and one MRI.
The health care system in Ireland isn’t as equal in Ireland as we have here in Finland and the poor state of the economy is still effecting the hospitals and the equipment there aren’t as modern as we have in Finland. You can still see handwritten referrals scanned in the computer and huge patient files with handwritten forms. Our Finnish paper-free hospitals seem very modern compared to the computer programs in SVUH. Hand disinfection isn’t used as much in Ireland and almost the entire population carry MRSA in some form. The role of the radiographer is also quite different, they are more like technicians rather than nurses in Ireland and for example in IR (Interventional Radiography) the radiographer is only responsible for the imaging and radiation safety and the radiographic nurses are there to assist the radiologist and take care of the patient.
The scenery of Ireland is amazing. I love nature and Ireland definitely has a huge amount of beautiful places to visit and see the nature at it’s best. Although the Irish complain a lot about the Irish weather, I beg to disagree and after leaving the -20 degrees Finland in the beginning of January and arriving to the +14 Dublin, it was pretty great. I got to visit a lot of places in Ireland, because it’s a quite small country in size. Besides Dublin, I also visited Galway, Doolin, Killarney, Belfast, Kilkenny, Wicklow mountains, Greystones, Bray, Howth and Tullamore.
I’m happy that I did the Erasmus exchange and I’m sure to be back to Ireland at least to visit. It has also made me appreciate Finland more and I’m proud to be a Finn. 🙂