This week has been quite a pivotal week – plans have put into motion to begin the next stage of research, its also been very rewarding as I finished a job I had been doing throughout the last couple of weeks.
As I approached mid-week I managed to finish analysing all the scans I had been given last week. This meant we were now ready to start putting plans into motion to have a focus group analysing a small selection of the scans id looked at… this will help us to finally establish whether there is a correlation with pain; something both me and Kyra are very interested in discovering. But before the focus group can take place, we need a systematic way of grouping the scans according to their score, to gain a varied selection for further analysis. This involved me having to input the score for each scan onto a database- Thankfully this job was so much quicker than actually analysing the scans! We hope to have begun contacting people for this focus group by early next week.
Wednesday was a fascinating day as I got to go to the second annual Medway Research Festival with Kyra. This was a valuable opportunity for me to meet researchers from Universities of Kent, Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church. This was a great Networking event for many of the academics- As I am an undergraduate, I used this as a chance to walk around and see what other innovative research is being done on campus. It really inspired me as a student and I loved looking at modern technology such as the 3D Printer and new equipment designed to help surgeons perform customised knee surgery. I left the research festival feeling proud to be part of a university that collaborates with other universities to help to produce such amazing research. Attending the festival made me realise that researchers (like the academics on campus) need to do their work so steps can be taken for the world to evolve and grow. I felt quite shy as a student regarding networking with all the academics, but I gained so much from observing each stall-the variety of research was huge… from sustainability research to mental health research. I definitely hope to have the opportunity to attend similar events in the future- hopefully in more of a position as an experienced academic to network.
Towards the end of the week I developed my knowledge on current fascia research and it’s anatomy by watching some DVDs with lectures from leading world experts. I found this very useful, as information I struggled to understand in some journals became clear when hearing the authors talk about their work in a different way. I loved the passion they had for their area of expertise, this exercise bought clarity to my current knowledge of Fascia and its role within the body.
I also got to witness an ultrasound scan being performed on a new participant. New participants are being recruited from another study involving a strength and conditioning programme, so Kyra can see the impact that it has on the Thoracolumbar Fascia. Observing Kyra communicating with the client showed me that it was important to allow the participant to feel engaged with the research and allow them to feel in control as the participant. Kyra educated the participant at the end of the scan as to what the different structures were on the ultrasound. I was really impressed with Kyra’s ability to identify the different structures on the ultrasound, and accurately count the different vertebrae of the spine to reach the correct level. She also showed me how even a slight change in pressure through the probe can change the whole look of the scan- through this I gained a new appreciation of the complexity in operating the ultrasound machine. Now I have observed one session of data collection, I hope to play a more active role in the next one in terms of communicating with the client and explaining the reasons for this study.