Mark | Psychophysiology
Placed at: Royal Children’s Hospital
“After a year of workplace experience, my career aspirations are a lot more defined. I now know exactly the type of role I see myself performing once I enter the workforce.”
While studying Psychophysiology I spent a 12-month placement in the department of Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
As a trainee scientist, my role was to book patients in for respiratory function tests, perform the tests, enter results into a database and bill patients. I also calibrated equipment, minuted meetings, replaced laboratory stock and did the all-important weekly coffee round for the team.
I found it rewarding to apply the skills in instructing I had learnt to coach patients and ensure they achieved maximal results. The majority of patients were affected by respiratory diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. The respiratory function tests required effort from the patients in order to obtain meaningful results and this meant that an important part of my role was to encourage and motivate them. This was particularly challenging for our younger patients as some were as young as five.
I was able to develop a vast knowledge of respiratory diseases and also develop a good rapport with patients and fellow staff members during my time at the hospital.
My compassion increased as I realised how fortunate I was to not have to endure the struggle that our patients were facing on a daily basis. Some conditions were so debilitating that children had to take significant time away from school. I was also humbled by the strength of parents who fought to keep their children in a positive mind set.
This practical experience allowed me to develop important skills beyond the academic component of my studies. I learnt about demonstrating duty of care toward patients by minimising exposure to cross infection, gained an appreciation for ethical conduct when conducting research, built up an abundance of self-confidence and established my place in the team by being able to work independently.
After a year of workplace experience, my career aspirations are a lot more defined. I now know exactly the type of role I see myself performing once I enter the workforce.