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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.

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Naturalist?
Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Surgeon

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

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At a Glance... header image

A qualified medical doctor who specialises in performing surgery for patients who need an operation, for example, when the patient has sustained an injury, developed a disease or degenerative condition.


The Work header image

Surgeons perform operations on patients, using their specialist knowledge of physiology, biochemistry , anatomy andpathology.They have to work very skilfully with their hands, and have a whole team of medical staff to support them.  
 
The particular type of operation a surgeon performs depends on their speciality. These include:  
General surgery  
Neurosurgery (brain)  
Cardiothoracic surgery (heart and chest)  
Oral and maxillofacial surgery (head and neck)  
Ears, nose and throat (ENT) surgery  
Plastic surgery (skin and bone construction)  
Paediatric surgery (children)  
Trauma and orthopaedic surgery (bones and joints)  
Urology (urinary)  
 
Surgeons divide their time between the outpatient clinic, the ward, the operating theatre and the office. In the outpatient clinic, they ask patients about their symptoms, and then examine and diagnose them. They may decide to add them to a waiting list for an operation or send them for further tests.  
 
On the ward, surgeons visit their patients just before their operation. They check that incision markings are in the right place and answer any last minute questions. They might also check on patients after the operation, to make sure there are no problems.  
 
Surgeons perform their operations in the theatre, which must be kept sterile. They either work through a series of routine minor operations or concentrate on one or two major operations, which could take hours. While they are operating, they teach junior doctors surgical techniques and procedures.  
 
In the office, surgeons decide whether referrals from GPs are urgent or routine cases.  
Surgeons also spend time doing research in order to keep up with new surgical technologies. They might publish articles in medical journals, and some surgeons lecture to other health professionals about surgery.  
 
Surgeons work long hours and spend some time on-call. Their free time may suffer because of this. When they are on-call, they may have to perform emergency operations. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Follow established surgical techniques during the operation.

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Examine patient to obtain information on medical condition and surgical risk.

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Operate on patients to correct deformities, repair injuries, prevent and treat diseases, or improve or restore patients' functions.

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Analyze patient's medical history, medication allergies, physical condition, and examination results to verify operation's necessity and to determine best procedure.

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Prescribe preoperative and postoperative treatments and procedures, such as sedatives, diets, antibiotics, and preparation and treatment of the patient's operative area.

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Diagnose bodily disorders and orthopedic conditions and provide treatments, such as medicines and surgeries, in clinics, hospital wards, and operating rooms.

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Provide consultation and surgical assistance to other physicians and surgeons.

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Direct and coordinate activities of nurses, assistants, specialists, residents, and other medical staff.

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Refer patient to medical specialist or other practitioners when necessary.

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Prepare case histories.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must have a sound knowledge of physiology, anatomy, biochemistryand pathology. A steady hand and good co-ordination skills are also essential.  
 
You must also have the physical stamina to perform operations over a long period of time. You will have to make decisions under pressure and must be able to cope with stress.  
 
You must be able to listen to, question and reassure patients and their families. Teamwork is an important part of the job, so it is vital that you can communicate well. You should also be hard-working and responsible.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Cosmetic Surgeon - from:  YouTube [UK]
Go..   Surgeon - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: info@publicjobs.ie
  Url www.publicjobs.ie
   

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Organisation: Medical Council
  Address: Portobello Court, Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
  Tel: (01) 498 3100
  Email:
  Url www.medicalcouncil.ie
   

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Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
  Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
  Tel: 01 635 2000
  Email:
  Url www.hse.ie
   


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following career interests...

Investigative  Realist  Social 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare

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