Sunday, 14 August 2011

Devil wears Prada without the fashion


I wish these came with the job
So this post is about work. I’ve been working for a week now and it’s all been very hectic. I haven’t had time to think or breath or sleep it feels like. The title explains my job rather well; I am a lot like Anne Hathaway in the devil wears Prada bit atm. Only I don’t get amazing clothes to wear, I don’t have a hot boyfriend who cooks for me and hopefully I won’t turn into a career obsessed bitch like the film though. Well she quits in the end and is better off for the experience (yay for happy endings) but I’d rather not go there in the first place.

Right, analysis of film over. But yea, I am working in the sleep lab which is looking at the sleep patterns of cognitively impaired individuals by giving them a series of cognitive and psychiatric tests and then wiring them up with electrodes and watching their brain waves while they sleep. I actually get to do a lot of the processes, actually I don’t think there has been anything that I’ve been told that I won’t be doing. The sleep lab runs every 2 weeks overnight as duh, that’s when people sleep. So next week I will be doing evening and night shifts, I will have to do the housekeeping, the cognitive testing, the entertaining, the electrode sticking, the overnight watching and the waking up for all the old dears that come into the sleep lab. I am kind of looking forward to doing some hands on science and developing a repertoire with the patients as it’s the same patients all week. But at the same time it’s a lot of responsibility and there isn’t really time to re-do things if I get them wrong.

But this week I’ve been doing the PA thing for my two immediate bosses. I do things like scoring the test papers that patient have completed and phoning patients up to confirm their bookings or to ask them to participate in a new study. But then every now and again one of the big bosses will send me out to run an errand like Friday I was sent to pick up a CD from another lab somewhere in the city that I had no idea where it was but I found it in the end. 

So that’s my life for the next few months at least. The idea at the moment is that they will cycle the three of us though the three jobs but if we end up just getting into the swing of our jobs by the time the 4 months is up then they might keep us there as it seem to take ages to train us all up. I honestly feel like I don’t even know a quarter of what I will need to by the end.
The days are fairly busy as when I’m not dealing directly with patients then I’m doing training or I’m doing paperwork or I’m in a lecture. The lectures are a good chance to grab a much needed coffee but they are (mostly) really interesting, some of them are like student lectures with the medical school that’s nearby but we go to the ones that are relevant to our work regardless of the university level, and some of them are “in house” lectures where someone from the institute is talking about their research and where they would like the research to go to next, or its some specialist from a partner lab that’s been invited to speak and talk to the staff. 

The last one we went to was really interesting, it was about the future of genetic tailoring of drugs to suit different pheno types. It all sounds really interesting but the amount of red tape it will have to go through means that it won’t ever get used. Imagine the law suits if someone died from too much or too little drug after they had been genetically sequenced and prescribed the supposed amount. Just getting the infrastructure would take decades as a general database of everyone’s sequenced genome would have to be recorded and made available to hospitals and GPs everywhere. Also the cost of all this would be astronomical. So like so many medical breakthrews, it will be technology that would greatly benefit mankind that will be put aside because of the way society works. It’s a real shame. Maybe it will be used some day but I doubt it will be widely available within my lifetime. 

Oh and they want the three of us to give a lecture! In 6 weeks!!!! They have given us all research projects to work on in our own time and they want a preliminary report done in 6 weeks’ time to present to the entire staff, including the big bosses. Its rather scary as I can’t even remember what my project is! Something about dim light melatonin levels I think.

Anyway, so that’s what I do. Stay posted for my overnight shift shenanigans. Sorry about the lack of pictures but it’s not very professional to take photos of the patients or the workplace.