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Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Ejiro O'Hare Stratton from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:
I would advise having a degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. Professional training in nursing is necessary in order to understand patient care and what standards are required to provide quality care in an acute hospital setting.
One would also have to understand the value of planning, implementing and evaluating work practices in order to get the best out of employees. The person coming into the job would need to be patient, able to negotiate and work under pressure, as well as work on their own initiative.
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Dr Jan Steiner, Anaesthetist
Jan works as an Anaesthetist in Letterkenny General Hospital. Originally from Germany, Jan completed his medical training as a general Doctor (MD) and went on to specialise as an Anaesthetist.
Specific subjects that I "specialised" in were German & Biology. None of the subjects chosen in school influenced my career path.
Medical Doctor with MD, Anaesthetic Registrar
Aside from my medical training, I learned professional typing in a voluntary course at school. My computer skills were both self-taught and taught in courses, workshops, from friends.
Very relevant for my medical training were all the side-jobs I did working in different hospitals. Fifteen months spent with the Civil Service in a Paediatric hospital ward working as nursing-aid were particularly helpful in terms of "knowing" how a sick child looks and behaves like. Any practical "front-work" was helpful: I worked as medical student in a Paediatric A&E taking history of all patients coming in and then presented these cases to "real" Paediatric doctors.
I also worked on a Neurological ward as medical student. I believe that it would be very helpful for every doctor when at some stage in their career they would work as a nurse or nursing aid. You get a different feeling for "team-work", communication, patient, etc.
I gave training courses to student nurses which was also very helpful both for improving your presentation skills and realising that you haven't really understood and grasped a topic unless you can explain it clearly!
Ultimately the most important thing in work (and generally) life are and were the people that stood out either from personal and/or professional point of view. I admired my senior Anaesthetic Registrar in Germany for example as he could always explain everything very clearly, was always up to date and always was friendly and helpful. That was and is the basis and backbone of my Anaesthetic training!
Luckily I have always met one or two people who influenced me in that way. I think it is important to seek these influencing people, listen to them and learn from them.
Yes, I would like to get an Anaesthetic Fellowship, Pain Diploma, MBA Health Care Management and maybe a diploma in computer networking & database control.