Last Friday, I had an exam in drug dosage calculation and I can say that it’s the most demanding and stressfull exam this semester because we can’t have any mistakes. I understand why the program requires us to master and to feel secure in our math because lives are at stake when we start working in the hospital. Just a single wrong unit or any wrong calculations can cost a patient’s life. In real life, this is just one of the tasks at work. Thus, we should be confident in what we do.
Whenever I’m not at work, home and travelling, I’m definitely busy with my studies. Yes, I’m studying again. This time, it is relevant to my job experience (in health sector) and I can say that I’m thriving in this program. Thriving because when people ask me why I chose to take this course, I cannot help but talk about it with enthusiasm. Also, as I’ve mentioned above, this is relevant to my work as an assistant at the home nursing job that I have.
I’m studying Bachelor of Science Major in Radiography at the University College of Bergen (Høgskolen på Vestlandet). I just started this fall and I’m so glad that I’ve chosen this program.
Before I continue, let me tell you what a radiographer is, because most of the people I know thought that I’m going to be a spesialist in X ray imaging or AKA radiologist.
A radiographer is someone who takes X ray images of patients. In addition to that, they also perform CT scan examination and MRI examinations to diagnose for example, an injury. Depending on what country the radiographer is working at, the scope of work task is different. Like for example, here in Norway, the radiographers are very hands on to their patients and they administer medicines and etc. Unlike in the other countries, the radiographer’s only task is to take X rays and report to the radiologist.
A radiologist on the other hand is a medical doctor (a physician) and is a specialist in using medical images to diagnose and treat a disease.
In order to be a good radiographer, it is important that you know your anatomy, radiological physics and radiographic positioning. The photo above, is a photo of Bontrager’s handbook.
This is the school’s X ray lab. I love how we can come here anytime to practice what we’ve learned in the classroom and to master the art of conventional X ray. Don’t worry, we only practice on phantoms and not on each other!
And because we are training to be a professional radiographer and health worker, discipline in the field is a must. Hence, the uniform.
Some of the reasons why I chose to study radiography is that the idea that I’ll get to work with high-tech equipments, work with patients and work with research. A radiographer is not limited by x ray/CT/MRI machine alone, but he/she also do research. Because the health sector is constantly changing.
The Bachelor program at the University College of Vestlandet is 3 years to complete and has 180 units. On the job training is included. All of the lectures and exams are in Norwegian, except for one of the subjects in the last semester (I think).
Rena is a small town in Hedmark region. Seven and a half hours car drive from Bergen and is located in the eastern part of Norway. Bf and I visited a relative who owns a camping place at Åsta just 15 minutes away from Rena center. We went here on the third week of July this year. We were invited so we didn’t have to pay for our stay. How cool is that? 🙂
Kvile means “relax” in Norwegian. I can say that my bf and I had a very comfortable and relaxed week during our stay here.
The cabin that we got is around 25 square meters big. It has a double deck bed, a dining table, chairs, heater, small fridge and a small kitchen counter with cabinets. So in short the cabin has everything that we need. However, there is no water supply and toilet inside the cabin. We had to go to the common washing area which is located just a few steps from the cabin.
What I love about this place is that there are a number of activities to choose from such as fishing, hiking, swimming, kayaking and grilling. Also, Rena is just 2 hours away to Sweden and circa an hour away to Oslo by car.
The camping area is also near a huge field. Just perfect for morning walks with the dog.
Just 5 minutes walk from the camp is the longest river in Norway, which is Glomma. According to my bf’s cousin, the river is rich in fish and therefore people come here to fish. But there are rules to follow and people who wants to fish here must get a permit first, since this is a freshwater river.
You can find a handful of information about fishing by the river and somewhere near the railways.
More pictures of the river shot from different places.
The place is also near the railway where the Åsta train accident happened in 2002. Here stands a monument stone with the names of the victims engraved. The accident is one of the biggest in the history of the transport industry.
Speaking of railways, have you heard about making a wish while standing on the railway? I had a classmate before in high school who told me that her wishes came true when she wished for something while standing on the railway. I admit that I had to make one when I took a picture of it.
Anyways, as I’ve mentioned earlier in this post, we were just 15 minutes away from Rena town center. Here can we find the schools, shops, restaurants and a wooden church.
Moving on, the weather during our visit here varied a lot. One day it was raining hard and just after a couple of hours the sun comes out. I can say that the weather in this part of Norway is way better compared to Bergen.
I can say that the 7.5 hours car trip to Rena is worth it. There are lots of beautiful places to see and this is one of the trips that I recommend if you want to see the difference between the western part and eastern part of Norway because you can see how the landscape change as you travel from the west to the east.
I’m ending this post with the link of Kvile Camping, for those who are interested in renting a cabin/s and caravan/tent place: http://www.kvilecamping.no/
Working in the health sector has helped me see life from another perspective. We, as employees are expected to show compassion and empathy towards our “clients” while we take care of their needs. What I mean by the term clients is a group of people who are in need of our services. The other term that we use is “patient” but I prefer to address them as clients.
When I enrolled for the accounting course a couple of years ago, I have already been seeking for that thing that I would love to work with for the rest of my life even though I was uncertain of the choice of course that I made, I was hopeful that my skills will serve a purpose and that it would somehow make me rich. I was doing well in my first semesters at the university until it hit me that I do not actually like and enjoy what I was doing. I woke up one day feeling numb and wondering what in the world did I get myself into. Balancing sheets became a burden all of a sudden, numbers became like a corn of sand to my eyes and that’s how I realized that I didn’t want to be an accountant or an economist. However, it was too late to drop out because I was near to finishing the program and besides I did not want to disappoint my parents and show everyone that I backed out. I did not want them to think that I am dumb.
During my sophomore year at the university, I applied for a part-time job as a personal assistant in the health sector. I got the job and I felt that my mood got better whenever I get to work despite my hectic schedule. A friend of mine told me that maybe my calling is not on being an accountant/economist but maybe as a social worker, health worker such as a nurse, physical therapist or a psychologist to name a few.
I finished the degree but deep inside I feel that I’m not complete. Then the hunt for the good paying job started. All I thought of that time was just any jobs in the economic sector as long as it is connected to my degree and of course, it should be a high paying job because that was my goal. To earn a lot of money. Who wouldn’t want to have a good amount of money in their account?
To make the story short, in the end, I got a good paying job where I could somehow apply what I learned from economy studies but with a cost which is happiness and satisfaction. I wasn’t happy at work even though I was working with very nice colleagues. After a couple of months, I submit my resignation letter and went back to the part-time job that I have which this time is as a home nurse assistant.
I received mixed reactions from friends and family upon telling them what I did and what I was going through. Some of them told me that maybe I was just bored and it’s normal in an office type of work and that I should have given it more time. Others told me that I just wasted 4 years in the university for a course that didn’t give any good results. – Oh well yes, I’m guilty of it. But for me, my happiness weighs more than any gold in this world.
As I’ve said earlier in this post, working in the health sector has shown me life from another angle. It showed me how important it is to take care of others without thinking too much of my own interests. At the same time, it has shown me what I really want to be- a person that works not just to earn money but also to serve others without losing my identity. A type of person who is professional but at the same time a people-oriented kind of person and to be that kind of person, I should follow my heart and pursue the right career for me.
What I have learned in this journey is that things happen to us because we do not know where we are heading. Just like my past choices before. We make mistakes and we always get a chance of correcting them and learning from them.
So to those in my circle who criticized me, I am changing course not because I failed, but because I am sure this time that the other path is for me and something good awaits me there.
A trip to London is incomplete without going to one of their plays. When I was planning this trip, I checked the plays that they have in London. There’s the Harry Potter, Mathilde and etc. I wanted to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But I didn’t pre order, so what happened is that the tickets were sold out during our stay in London. Lesson learned! Being spontaneous is not always a smart thing.
We went to Stomp instead because it was the only available play during our preferred time of the day and we booked the ticket at a shop/pawnshop/ticket office near the Queensbay tube station. The man who is working there (who I think is the owner) was helpful and was full of enthusiasm. He showed us a brochure of the plays available in London and tried to convince us to watch a play at least. He also promised us a good seat in the theatre too (which we didn’t get). The man seemed harmless and it seemed that he was just trying to make a living. I know that the tickets didn’t cost a lot, but since he is a reseller, the tickets cost a bit more than buying it directly at the theatre. I trusted him, my friend trusted him. My friend and I agreed with the price and paid him using our credit cards. I only found out about what he did when my credit card statement came and to my surprise I paid 40% more than the price of the tickets. He robbed us!
Even though we didn’t get the promised seat, my friend and I had a great time watching Stomp.
Anywho, a long weekend is not long enough in London. I don’t have a proper picture of the Big Ben, The London Eye, The West Minister’s Palace and the London Bridge because I forgot my charger and we spent our last night at my friend’s flat. But that’s alright at least I have seen them from the bus. I’m sure that I’m not gonna forget how they look like anyways! 🙂
Nevertheless the bad experience, London is a great experience. Aside from crossing the road (well, looking from right to left), I’ve learned that the Londoners are friendly contrary to what is portrayed in the media sometimes. Because you know, the suit and tie.
Earlier today, I read on the news that a lot of people received a DVD in their mailbox. No one knows who the sender is. The content of the DVD is a four hour homemade film (which was copied and stitched together from different films) about the Holocaust. The title according to NRK is “Illuminating the Holocaust”. It is actually trying to convince people that Holocaust did not happen at all. Which I find scary, not because I think that someone would believe this propaganda material but because there are people out there who would ruin everything, including nullify a part of the history just to get what they want. Hence, contributing to the world’s rising turmoil.
Before, I thought that the main purpose of getting a degree or education is to earn lots of money and get rich. I also thought that once I see more digits pouring into my bank account, I’d be happier and satisfied. I was wrong. Life is indeed more than money.
I’m not saying that I don’t need money though. My point is that once you put money as your only priority and goal, then you might wake up unsure of what really is your purpose in life and in your society.