Looking at a map of Europe superimposed on Australia makes us Irish realise how big this country really is!


I arrived in Melbourne on Thursday, flew to Sydney on Sunday, spent Monday running around Sydney opening a bank account, getting an Australian mobile phone, mobile WIFI and finalising my paperwork! Archangels Care were brilliant in assisting me to achieve all of these things before I started my first job! I had requested to be placed in the Bush, as coming from a large Teaching hospital, I wanted to experience something ‘different’! Archangels Care certainly granted my request –I was driven 665 km to Walgett from Sydney.

Walgett is located in rural NSW, ‘close’ to the Queensland border. I had difficulty ‘googling’ it but have found the staff in the hospital, as well as the locals, to be very friendly and welcoming. Going to the Bush, I had wondered what sort of x-ray equipment I would be working with –would it be film? Could I remember the darkroom processing skills from university? So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is all digital CR equipment in Walgett.



The work rate is a lot slower than what I had been used to –but that’s why I chose to come here. The equipment is not as ‘user friendly’ as it looked at first, so it takes a bit of TLC to get through the patient list. Being on-call 24/7, with a tele-Radiologist, is exciting, and if called, you are reimbursed handsomely!

The advantage of working rurally is the ‘all-inclusive package’: transport costs and accommodation are all provided which allows you to save what you earn to travel further afield. The accommodation is in the Nurses’ Home, which is basic but functional –en-suite bedroom, with shared kitchen and TV room. Having your own mobile WIFI is essential for contact with the outside world! One day per week, the hospital provided me with a vehicle to drive 80km to Lightning Ridge.


A Remote Operator (nurse) takes the x-rays there from Thurs-Tues when there’s no Radiographer available. They book appointments for the day that the Radiographer attends so it’s a busy day! The equipment in Lightning Ridge Hospital is ‘challenging’. But, it’s all about the characters that you meet –the patients, the staff and the locals. If you make an effort, they will welcome you gladly! This is one little Visitor that has come to see me in the X-ray department:


Getting involved is important –there’s the ‘Sing Australia’ group who meet on Monday nights, Yoga on Thursdays and ‘Quilting’ on Saturdays. So, no reason not to get out and meet people! Although you may be the local ‘tourist attraction’ for a few weeks, as the work spreads that there’s a “new Radiographer in town”!!