Despotović Family’s Review: Radiological Engineers in Sweden

15. December 2023.

Željko and Tatjana Despotović are radiological engineers. They recently moved to Karlstad, Sweden’s 20th biggest city and the capital of Värmland County. Here’s what they say about life and work there.

Karlstad, Švedska
Photo by Gustaf Karlsson on Unsplash

“The increasingly worse situation in Croatia encouraged us to move,” says Željko. They were considering moving to Great Britain or Ireland for years, as they assumed that knowing the language would help them overcome some initial challenges.

In the end, however, they opted for Sweden – because it presented a challenge, but also for other reasons that the Despotović family is still discovering, according to Željko.

Our agency helped them with their move. Together, we found Tatjana and Željko jobs in Karlstad, a city situated on the island of Tingvalla and the northern shore of Lake Vänern. The city is known for its university and history; it was, for example, the site of negotiations that ended the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905.

Let’s find out what the Despotović family thinks 6 months after their move.

Working Conditions in Sweden vs. Croatia

“The working conditions in Sweden are certainly better than in Croatia,” says Željko. He believes this is so primarily because the Swedish healthcare system has access to far more money.

However, he also points out that the Swedes have a different mentality.

“Colleagues in Croatia improvise more because the limited resources force them to. This is not ideal, but it does help develop an intelligent approach to work. On the other hand, since everything – literally everything – is available in Sweden, people strictly rely on written routines and rules. They’re not as prone to improvisation.”

However, Željko thinks that the work demands and the organization of the work are actually worse than in Croatia. He attributes this to the chronic lack of healthcare staff:

“On paper, there are many extra benefits. For example, an employee is entitled to 31 days of vacation every year. However, in order for you to actually use those days when you want to, you need to wait for approval. And, often, you won’t get it, because of the staff shortage.”

Radiology Engineers = Röntgensjuksköterska

Radiology engineers in Sweden are classified differently than in Croatia. They are called röntgensjuksköterska, which can be roughly translated to “röntgen nurse.”

“This means that, apart from the standard handling of medical equipment and imaging, we also sometimes need to assist doctors in fluoroscopy and some interventional procedures. We are also in charge of booking check-ups on the modalities we’re working on that day.”

This involves contacting the departments where the patients are staying, and often even directly contacting the patients who are waiting for their appointments at home.

An Average Workday of a Radiology Engineer

Željko also shared how his average workday looks during morning shifts. He emphasized that his department works 24/7, so he also works afternoon and night shifts, as well as on weekends.

An overview of Željko’s average workday:

  • 7:30 a.m.: the beginning of the workday
  • 9:00-9:20 a.m.: fika pause (coffee break)
  • around 11:30 a.m. – around 12:15 p.m.: launch break
  • 4:15 p.m.: the end of the workday
Tri kave u rukama
Swedes love their coffee breaks, or fika pauses. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Reactions from Loved Ones and Advice for Colleagues

Željko says that their loved ones weren’t shocked by the family’s decision to move – mainly because they already moved across Croatia.

The relocation process went smoothly, and the family managed well in Sweden – they’ve been living and working there for 6 months. They also successfully communicate in Swedish, a language that was completely unknown to them prior to the move.

“We adapted, in our own and our colleagues’ opinions, very well.”

So, we asked Željko if he had any advice for colleagues who are currently considering moving themselves. He believes he cannot give strict advice because we’re all different, so there’s no point in encouraging others to move.

In his opinion, the decision must be made on an individual basis. A person needs to get up the courage and try for it for him or herself –“there’s no other way.” 

Are You Feeling Courageous, Too?

As Željko says, you need to be courageous to move and start working in another country. If you’re seriously considering that step, contact us at info@incor.hr and we’d be happy to explain the whole process. Here’s also a brief reminder that we can help you with every step involved in relocating and finding a new job in Scandinavian countries.

Željko and Tatjana Despotović are some of the healthcare workers we helped achieve their dreams about living and working abroad. Find more reviews by our candidates here

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