Field Experience- Half a day on your feet.

in Hive Learners2 months ago

If you were expecting this to be one of my three-post MIA Diaries series, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. As you might already know, we wrote our final exam a couple of days ago and we’re almost done with our Bachelors. Now, the only thing standing between us and our Bachelors Degree is our final year project. The final project is divided into 5 sections, 3 of which are mostly based on research and theory. For the last two chapters, you need to do practical work on the field to proceed. That’s what today was about.

If you read my sample collection training for field work post 7 days ago, this post will basically feature us(my team) applying what we learnt in that training on the field.

We set out pretty early(early for me) around 9am because we were going to have a very busy day. I’ve been a busy bee irl today. It was raining when we took left, and even heavier when we got to the first primary school where we were to collect our samples. Two of my colleagues had gone there yesterday already prior to our visit today to brief the children on what we’re coming to do, and to seek participant’s parental or guardian consent as part of ethical clearance demands.

We set shop when we arrived and the headmistress of the said primary school, Gaani, helped us gather our participants and we started collecting our samples. We didn’t have a large space to work, so our workspace was a bit congested. We managed with what we had. We took blood by fingerprick, urine and stool samples.


Our team was divided into 4 units. The first unit was a one man unit. This was where we collected and scanned consent forma of study participants after they were brought back signed by parents and guardians. We only allowed participants whose parents or guardians gave consent for their participation.


The second unit was the questionnaire unity. They administered the questionnaires we had prepared for the participants. They also took anthropometric measurements like height and weight, and the mid upper arm circumference (MUAC). This was a two-man unit.


Then the next unit was where the real deal was happening. This was where the samples were collected and basic tests performed on field. Blood was collected by finger-pricking and urine and stool samples were also collected. Then with an RDT test kit and an Hb photometer, A test for plasmodium (for malaria) and and Hb level (for anemia) were performed on-field. There was a lot going on at this unit.


Then the next was unit was my unit, consisting of just me. I didn’t really do much lol. Me, I was more of a multitasking unit. I completed the forms the questionnaire unit started filling by recording recording the results of the RDT test and Hb Meter reading after the tests by the sampling and testing unit. I also distributed biscuits and some sweets to the kids who had gone through the entire process with us. I did the scanning for the first unit too, and of course, I was the photographer covering the field trip, which explains why I have all the pictures I’m showing you. We were able to collect 40 samples today.


Me


We left the field around 2pm, and headed straight to the lab from there. Okay maybe not straight. We took a 30-minute launch break and went right back into the lab to perform the remaining tests. At the lab, we’re a two unit team. Everyone else worked on the scientific part for today, and I worked on the IT and data part. The rest of the team did the science at the lab, whiles I recorded the data we took from the field in our excel document. I don’t have pictures of the lab processions to show you because of this, but hopefully tomorrow when we switch places, I’ll have enough. We stayed at the lab and worked from 3-9pm.

Like I said today was a very long day, and u fortunately is only the start of what my next few days will look like. We’ll be going back tomorrow, and the next, and the next, until we have 234 samples. We won’t be collecting them all from the same school though. We have 5 different schools enrolled in our study. I’m already too tired and I want to go straight to bed after this. But knowing me, I probably will still lurk around here for a bit before I do.


Who Authored This Post?


Designed by me in canva

I am @depressedfuckup. The story behind my weird username is in my intro post if you have the time to read. I am a newbie and a content creator on Hive and a Biochemistry student outside of Hive. I write about my present, generally things going on with or around me. Please give this article an upvote and a reblog if you liked the content and leave a comment if you have something to say about it. Thanks for visiting my blog, have a great day!

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I'm proud of you bro. I really like what you're doing. This is service to humanity and its priceless.

Thanks for sharing. Nice one

Thanks man, and sorry for the late reply. There’s been a lot going on with me the past few days so I haven’t been around here that much.

Good on you for getting that field work in as part of your degree. I almost became an MLT (Medical Lab Technician) when I began my college journey due to the extreme shortage of them here, but switched up when I learned why. I hav an aunt and uncle that are nurses, so I was exposed to it early on.

That field work is going to take my life lol. The stress that comes with it is unmatched.

I suppose the shortage of them in your area is due to the stress associated with it? Maybe they’re not payed as much as they should be?


Sorry about the late reply man. Things were out of my control and I haven’t been around.

I understand, I'm busy too. Yes, Medical Lab Technicians are overworked, underpaid (for the crap they have to put up with) and suffering from extreme burnout. The shortage isn't just in my area, it's nationwide all over the US and Canada too.

We're 25,000 MLTs short, just in the US, and each year the number keeps getting higher. The veteran employees are retiring faster than they're being replaced, and new hires quit shortly after being on the job, so it must really suck.

At my campus they interview you and you have to be approved for the major as many students quit when they find out what they have to put up with. Every MLT I spoke to warned me away from the profession and said they were quitting at the first opportunity.

The only good thing is if you can put up with the working conditions, you have a good measure of job security. See these two links:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/04/28/were-facing-a-critical-shortage-of-medical-laboratory-professionals/?sh=36bed017260c

We have a desperate need here in America for educated immigrant Engineers and MLTs and other health professionals. Instead we get violent, illiterate, migrants who come to pick tomatoes, and we don't need that. My area has been FLOODED with these people, and there are no jobs left for them as the other migrants have taken them all.

The only good thing is if you can put up with the working conditions, you have a good measure of job security.

Lol people in my country would kill for the job. There are a lot of Medical Laboratory graduates over here wasting away jobless, several years after graduating. A lot of them wouldn’t even mind a $150 salary MONTHLY. That’s a lot of money for people here considering how tough it is for people around here. I assume if we lived in the US too, the same $150 will be pennies because of your expenses.

I think starting pay is like $20 or $30 an hour in a big city with plenty of overtime. Just have to find a cheap place to live in a large city. Tell those grads to get over here, we need them! lol Cause I ain't stressing my body out in that job! :)

$20 an hour? Damn! One of the things I sure like about the US is their hour-based payment. We don’t have that around here. You’re payed on a monthly basis. For most workers, if you average their monthly salary against the number of days they work, you get something around 50cents for a full day of work. It’s sad.

And trust me, is the grads here knew of a way to get up there, they’d be knocking on your gates yesterday. Lol.