Over the summer before I enrolled here at The Ohio State University, I accepted a job as a research assistant at Wexner Medical Center. I worked in Dr. Lynne Gauthier’s Neuro-recovery lab. Her lab focus on rehabilitation of patients who have suffered a neurological condition. The project I worked on was a randomized control trial focusing on computerized therapy for stroke patients. When I first began on the project I started out by learning MatLab so I can analyze the data collected from the patients. After a couple of weeks, I transitioned to screening patients, through phone and in person, to determine if they are eligible to enroll in our study. For the first semester I majority learned the basic functioning of the lab from others in the lab.
During my second semester, things began to change. I was able to have more physical contact with patients. I was trained to preform post-test treatments and 6 month follow-up treatments. Over the summer I began treating patients. During that time, one of the senior lab members began medical school and left the lab. I took on more responsibility in the lab for scheduling future patients and entering their data into OSU patient database.
During my time at the lab, a major lesson I learned is that research is so much more than it seems. Since my lab focused more on the clinical side, I get to work with patients unlike in a wet lab. I got to experience the interaction between the healthcare providers and the patients. I was able to interact with patients themselves and work with patient data to uphold HIPPA protocol. In a research study like mine, I was able to experience communication between students, doctors, and physical therapists. All in all, because of this experience I learned that I enjoy patient interaction more than data work. Working in a clinical lab helped me understand that there are many profession in the medical field and help me find what I am passionate about in the medical field.