“I wanted to develop my career as an MRI Radiographer but with a young family I also wanted balance and a better quality of life. Everything is working out so well for us here.” - Rainier, Radiographer
MRI Radiography is a fast-developing area of healthcare which is becoming ever-more important as a diagnostic tool. At TTM our Allied Health Professional division offers Radiographers roles in private and public hospitals across Ireland – and many have come from overseas to grow their careers here. To find out more we caught up with Rainier Damiar, who was supported by our AHP team to make the move from Qatar to Ireland as an MRI Radiographer.
Rainier works with Alliance Medical at the all-new primary care centre in Ennis, Co.Clare and is happily settled in town with his wife and five children. His story began in the Philippines where he secured a volleyball scholarship to study for a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology/Science. Knowing the qualification could open many doors for him, he graduated in 2010 and received his Medical License. After working at a private main hospital for a year, Rainier moved to Doha, Qatar where he worked as a Senior MRI Technologist for Hamad Medical Corporation.
Radiographers like Rainier work with cutting-edge technology to produce medical images that help radiologists and doctors monitor or treat a patient’s injury, illness or disease. As a highly specialised MRI Radiographer, Rainier uses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to take images inside the body. Providing extremely detailed scans of soft tissue and anatomical structures, MRI is ideal for imaging the brain, joints and spine, while it is also used to image patients with conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, dementia and brain tumours. Advances in magnet design and Radio Frequency (RF) technology mean that MRI is broadening in its application and effectiveness.
A Change of Pace
After 12 years in Doha, Rainier and his family were ready for a change of pace and a different kind of lifestyle - and he began to look at options:
“I discovered TTM when researching job opportunities and I’m so happy that I did. There’s a great need for Radiographers in Ireland, I knew the language wouldn’t be a problem and the lifestyle – particularly in Clare - appealed to me. I applied for CORU registration and once this was through, my TTM consultant began to find opportunities for me. It was all so easy – in less than two weeks I had secured a permanent position with Alliance in Ennis.”
Support All the Way
For Rainier it was important that he would be in Ireland ready for his children to start school in the September of that year, and thanks to TTM the process was smooth and painless:
“From getting our VISAS to answering all our questions – TTM was great. They were my ‘bridge’ to getting here. They covered the cost of our transport from Dublin to Ennis and provided lots of information about life in Ireland – including housing, education and healthcare. I felt fully supported and prepared for our adventure!”
Life in Ireland
Rainier and his family have settled well in the county town, with his children attending local schools and enjoying getting to experience the Irish lifestyle.
“Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. People are relaxed here and it’s easier to find that balance we all want. As a small town, there’s a great sense of community here which we really like. We have a nice house near to the town centre and my workplace is close to my kids’ schools so I can walk over and collect them at lunchtime which is great. The schools are good, and my younger children are learning Irish, but the older ones are exempt. The weather is a welcome change from the heat of Doha, and being from the Philippines we are used to rain – so it’s all good. I would say the only thing I’m still finding my way around is sourcing ingredients for the food I love to cook – but I’m getting there.”
A Little More About the Job
Rainier sees around 14 patients each day and is responsible for the whole MRI process – from operating the equipment to taking care of the patients. Safety is the priority here, and an MRI Radiographer must have extensive knowledge and understanding of safety to ensure the well-being of patients and other people within the MR environment. The presence of metal during the MRI process can be extremely dangerous, so ensuring the patient is not wearing anything magnetic is critical. Communication with each patient is also very important:
“An MRI can be quite daunting for patients, and it can take around 20 minutes. People who are claustrophobic can struggle - so it’s important to communicate with the patient throughout and keep them calm and still. You need to answer their questions and make sure that they understand exactly what is going to happen and when.”
Some Last Advice?
Rainier truly hasn’t looked back since making the move and endorses the many opportunities for Radiographers in Ireland. In time, he will consider postgraduate studies to further his career here. He urges healthcare professionals to follow in his footsteps and is resolute about how to do it: “Definitely choose TTM. They’ll make it easy for you. I’m so grateful for everything they’ve done to help us create our new life.”
AHP Team Leader, Roisin Sheehan and her team are here to help you make your move in Radiography. To find out more about available roles email firstname.lastname@example.org