Ok then guys, geronimo. Well I’ve been at the William Harvey for 2 weeks out of my 8 and so far I’ve been so busy with this and that I haven’t really had time to blink, let alone write a blog! I’m working with 2 consultants in HCOOP (That’s HealthCare Of the Older Person to us laymen) who specialize in stroke medicine, Dr. Balogun and Dr. Hargroves. As this is a retrospective study, I don’t have to go through the long, laborious process of actually collecting the data as it’s already on the various records systems or in the patients notes (hopefully).
However, the stroke database, where I am inputting all the data that needs to be accounted for in this study, is backlogged from about June 2012…… Looks like I’ve got work to do! There are many different variables I need to track down from various sources for each patient such as DOB, time of stroke onset and time of administration of drugs. Along with these, I have to find out their status in many different risk factors for stroke e.g If they suffer from Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and whether they smoke or not. There are so many aspects to stroke medicine and so much anatomy to learn that it’s like being thrown in at the deep end, I’m trying to simultaneously get down to business and learn what the business is I’m getting down to!
Not only have I been entering all this information into the database, I’ve also been relearning all the statistics I could possibly imagine would be useful for the project…. Which is basically all statistics ever. I’ve spent many a day poring over stats text books, writing out work plans and linear regression models and trying to select the correct test to analyse the data. I’ve also been to a few meetings where Dr. Balogun and Dr. Hargroves were talking with the stroke care team and a radiologist consultant about current patients, diagnosing the areas of the brain affected and what kind of stroke the patient had suffered – very interesting stuff, although I’m sure I just sat there with a stupid grin on my face, amazed at how lucky I was to be a part of it.
Right kids, that’s about all I’ve got time for, I’ve got a MDM at Kent & Canterbury Hospital tomorrow and I need to learn as much as I can so I don’t feel so out of my depth. I’m sure I’ll find time to blog again soon, I think once you start it’s very easy to keep it going. Watch this space!