It is hard for me to believe that we are already in the 4th week of our project. The past couple of weeks have gone by so quickly. The past couple of days have arguably been the most busy for us. Thanks to some great recruitment work from my colleague, we had a lot of people sign up to take part in our study, which was great news! However, it also meant that we had a lot of work to get done, so we had to get cracking!
On the first day, we had two participants come in for our study. By now, we were on our 8th participant, so it was safe to say that we were starting to get the hang of the whole process. It was interesting to look back at how our confidence had increased in terms of carrying out the testing procedure in comparison to how it was when we first started out. It was daunting at first, to remember so many things and make sure that we were doing all of them right. However, by now it was almost like clockwork, just one thing after another.
This week in particular has been great for me as it gave me the opportunity to work with as many participants as I could, and also allowing me to get a lot of lab exposure, both of which were my main objectives for the duration of this study. I was initially quite nervous to work with people because as a biomedical science student, most of the work that I had done in labs was mostly to do with cells and bacteria so there was a lack of experience when it came to working with people. However, as this project has progressed, I find that I am much more relaxed than I was before and am actually looking forward to meeting more participants.
I also had the opportunity to work on some less lab focused work. I tried my hand at drafting some text for the methods section of the work that we are carrying out. As it was my first time writing something for a Sports Science and Exercise paper, I was a bit nervous. However, after receiving constructive feedback from both Katrina and Sam, I feel as though I am more open to just taking action and trying my hand at things, regardless of whether or not I have sufficient knowledge on how to do it. Both Katrina and Sam have been extremely supportive for these past couple of weeks, giving us guidance whenever we need it but also trusting our abilities enough for us to feel like we are working independently.
There has been a lot that I have learnt so far, especially with regards to working in the lab. For example, there have been several times where we have faced issues with a piece of equipment in the lab. When faced with a situation like this towards the start of the project, I would not know what to do and would panic. This would not be ideal when dealing with participants as one of the main priorities would be to keep them as relaxed as possible. However, now that I have gained a bit more experience, under the guidance of our mentors. I feel now that I would be able to deal with a situation like this in a calm and collected manner. For example, there were a few times where the heart rate monitor would not be detected by the Metalyzer midway through the procedure. However, we were able to solve the problem quite quickly using a different device to detect it. This way, the participant remained comfortable and we were able to solve our problem without alarming them.