Student Research Assistant @ Wexner Medical Center

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 began the job 2 months after starting school, I needed time to adapt to college life before I began. I am going to share my experience working at Wexner and the lessons I’ve learned about research and about myself.

The lab I worked in was a randomized control trial focusing on computerized therapy for stroke patients, the primary investigator on this trial is Dr. Lynne Gauthier. When I first began on the project I started out with just learning matlab and working with data, then I moved to help with screening patients, through phone and in person, to determine if they are eligible to enroll in our study. During my second semester in the lab, I got to be more physical with the patients. I was trained to preform the treatment for the study for the patient, over the summer I began treating patients. Staring the 3rd semester in the lab, I took on the job of scheduling patients, treating patients, and imputing the data to OSU’s system.

During all that time the major lesson I learned is that research is so much more than it seems. Since I was in a lab that’s focused on clinical research, I get to work with patients unlike a wet lab. I got to see the interaction between the healthcare providers and the patients, I was able to interact with patients while getting the experience of  working with patient data and upholding HIPPA protocol. In a research study like mine, I was able to experience communication between different healthcare professions. We had to work with therapist, nurses, and other doctors. All in all, because of this experience I know that I like patient interaction more than data work. This experience strengthened my desire for going into the medical field.