Erasmus experience: Studying Radiography in Finland
Vaihto-opiskelijamme Lorenzo kirjoitti blogiimme vaihtokokemuksistaan:
I’m Lorenzo, a Radiographer student from Turin, Italy. At the beginning of the 2022 I’ve decided to take part to the Erasmus experience offered from my university. Contrary to other people, I had only the chance to fly to Oulu, Finland, but I’ve never regretted this because I was already thinking about a North-European destination. Thus, I have applied the ranking list and I was lucky to be able to start this journey, from the beginning of January 2023 to the end of May 2023.
So, my Erasmus offer was a 5-months transfer in Oulu for studying and practicing in the local hospital. Following the pre-made organisation, I’ve spent the first 4 months following the lectures, chosen before the arrival in Finland, and then at the end of April I officially started my 4-weeks practical training in the MRI department of the Oulu Hospital (G-Rӧntgen). Since the first days of lectures, I could discern big differences between Italy because the University environment seemed more confidential and less stressful. Despite of what they say about the introverted nature of Finnish, both students and teachers (like also Hospital tutors) were always nice and available. I think that one difficulty that I had with some people were the language barrier, but even if they knew less English rather than others, they always tried to help me in any cases. In addition, Finns have also a good sense of humour that I have above all seen in the X-rays department during the Eurovision period, in which employees have dressed a fake skeleton with the same Käärijä outfit (the finnish singer).
Talking about the MRI practical training, in general I had a nice stay and I have learned a lot of things also because I started from “0”, since I have never had an MRI training in Italy. Form the first day, I had the chance to live the work behind the monitors trying to achieve as much information as possible. Fittingly, the only sad matter was that the majority of patient wasn’t confident in talking English with me, so I only had few times the chance to do an exam from the beginning to the end. Not to mention that the environment was amazing, the department was well organized with a staff area completely isolated from the patient area, both connected to each other by a few doors, so that they can maintain always a perfect environmental safety. The department is composed by Traditional X-ray room, Ultrasound, CT scan and MRI ones. In the MRI area there were three Siemens equipment, a 1,5 T Magnetom Aera, and two 3 T Magnetom Skyra and Vida. For most of the time, I decided to work in the 3 T Vida cause in Italy, where I live, is not so common to find an MRI with this performance.
During this practical training, I have seen lots of studies from the head MRI to the Orthopaedic one. The ones that interested me the most were the abdomen one and the Cardiac MRI because they were a bit different from the other, especially for the recognition of the anatomical structures. Even if I couldn’t try to carry out exam due to the difficulty, the staff was really available and patient for explaining me every exam steps.
In general, I had a nice journey here in Finland and that is an experience that I recommend for all those who want to face strict winters, beautiful springs, and those who want to live a completely different reality and meet pleasant people.