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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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
|A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?
An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.
Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.
One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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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.