Hello, I am Christa a 3rd year radiography student from Finland and I’m currently spending my spring semester in Dublin, Ireland. I chose Ireland for its Cardiac Imaging course and the mix of studies and placement. My Erasmus exchange entails a 5-week clinical placement at the local hospital and two courses at University College Dublin. Sadly, we didn’t have the time to pick any optional courses.
I am currently doing my clinical placement in Saint Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH). My days start ay 9am and end around 17:00. During my practise I get to see CT, IR, Theatre, PET, mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and general x ray. Wide variety of modalities offers a good overview of the workflow in Ireland and allows me to compare the differences.
Students have a different role in the hospital. Radiography students generally don’t do anything besides general x-rays and it’s rare for a student to get a placement in other modalities. Most radiography students decide on a modality they like after graduating and then get work place training in it. Meanwhile in TAMK radiographers have a placement in every modality and being able to perform scans and work independently are requirements for passing the placement. In Finland I am capable of setting cannulas, positioning the patient and performing simple scans and doing the reconstructions. Here the students simply observe and help with patient transfers. I also got to call in patients and direct them with pre-scan instructions. I also noticed that nurses are a lot more present in the scanning process. In Finland students are taught about medicines and how to administer them while in Ireland that is all done by nurses and the scan maybe stopped so a nurse can come and administer a diuretic for example.
During my free time I have liked to explore the city and the cultural experiences it has to offer. I have visited almost every museum in Dublin including the national library. I was surprised to find out that most museums are completely free, excluding more private ones like the Irish Whiskey museums.
I was lucky enough to book on-campus accommodation and the university holds a lot of events for Erasmus and non-Erasmus students which has helped me socialise with students outside my field. There are a lot of societies and events, and something is happening almost every night. With the on-campus Olympic sized pool, two gyms, movie theatre and a bar it is hard to get bored around here. If only time would stop flying by so quickly.