Michelle Cole, Medical Radiation Therapist

Michelle Cole
Medical Radiation Therapist
Dunedin Hospital, Otago Distrcit Health Board
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

I was working as a radiation therapist in NW England and had been there 18 months and was looking for a change.

I felt underpaid, overwhelmed and under appreciated – expectations were high in the department with patient throughput the only focus. I knew I couldn’t get job satisfaction when the system was like a sausage factory and realised that this was not what I had trained to do. I was missing out on the patient interaction of the job.

I had also just come out of 4-year relationship and was back living back with parents at the time, – commuting ¾ hour each day. I started doing some initial internet research and emailed my CV to Dunedin Hospital. Email dialogue began with the unit manager, culminating in a job offer. Today, I'm living with my kiwi partner in the hilly suburb of Roslyn, Dunedin.

Life is good I go skiing most weekends in winter, we’ve got a caravan in Wanaka, a boat at Otematata Lake and nothing is too far away. There isn’t the traffic here that you find before and after work in the UKa traffic jam here is 4 or 5 cars sitting at the lights! You work 8.00am-4.30pm, and can still head to the ski fields after work or get home and do something in the evenings.

Work is great I’m getting that patient interaction I had been missing. Although we are a busy department, it’s not the same stress and pressure of the UK. It doesn’t matter if you need to stop and listen to a patient for 20 minutes because the patient obviously needs that time… things can be caught up with another time.

I work in a forward-thinking department, where we have state-of-the-art technology that we actually use all of the time to its fullest potential to the benefit of our patients. We’re constantly re-evaluating our practice to look for ways of improving our services for our patients.

I’ve got a car and a lifestyle and money in the bank!  In England I never had money and was always over drawn – it was all spent on petrol, food, socialising and housing. Here I’m able to save for a house deposit.

Michelle's Top Tips

►Spend time working out where want to live in NZ.  For example, if you're after a lifestyle like you get in Dunedin, then you won't want to end up in a big north island city

►Top reasons for coming to Otago?  Nothing's too far away - if you want a quiet time you can get that, if you want a night out you can have that too. There's lots to see and do here and the people are friendly.


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