Woah. Had a really…hectic?crazy?bad?great? day today. It was really just…a messy mix of colours in my head.
I woke up at 5.30am and had to reach IMH at 8am to be orientated around the wards by my prof for data collection. I took an Uber there because I had to carry a super heavy luggage there (thus looking like I’m enrolling to be an inpatient at a mental health ward lol).
I think the most traumatizing (or impactful) part of the day was when my prof brought me to different wards to thick-skinnedly barge into the middle of a team meeting, with all eyes of professionals on us, wondering who the hell we are and why we just rudely interrupted them while carrying a weird luggage with us lol. It was like cold-calling but in real life and in much more hostile settings ;_ ;…. We had to tell them about our study (which they acted really suspiciously about) and ask them to tell us the names of some possible participants that fit our criteria for the research. And we did that multiple times for different wards. And I probably have to do it again.
Then, my prof left for his other stuff and I didn’t have the access card so whenever I left the room for anything – to look for a patient, to go toilet, to go for lunch, I had to disturb one of the busy nurses to help me. ;_ ; also had to disturb the nurses to direct me to certain patients. And I disturb a different nurse each time and have to re-explain my study, who I am and what my purpose is, cause all of them are just all over the place dealing with all sorts of stuff lol. It’s soo troublesome. But I guess I could only get better at it lol. By the end of the day I had to explain to the ward manager (who seemed quite high in authority) about the study so he could sign the consent form, because one of the nurses I approached didn’t dare to put her signature down unless higher authority confirmed my legit-ness lolol. Ughhhhhh. But I managed to convince him that I was trustworthy, so I guess I did improve a bit.
Conducting the tests really took the energy out of me too. It was interesting, but at the same time also boring lol. One session took about 2.5hours, but it would actually drag on to 3hours+ if the patient keeps talkinggggg all the time. But I guess they don’t have many people to talk to who are willing to listen to them. D’:
I also was rejected by the first 2 patients I approached, I guess the 2.5hours scared them off lol. So it’d probably be good for me not to mention the duration until after they kind of agree to help.
After waiting about a year for ethics approval, finally!!! I have started data collection. Only have about 3 months to thesis submission. Errrr really not sure if I will make it in time??? ;_ ; but I will only do my best in things within my control!
Was really really anxious about today, to the point that my stomach kept hurting lol, but I’m glad the first day went quite alright, although whatever preparation I thought I had couldn’t have prepared me enough for the cold-calling part lol. I’m glad I did prepare though, cause I felt familiar enough with all the tests and materials.
Hopefully in a few weeks I’d be a pro at conducting these tests, and in being persuasive towards patients (to participate in my study), nurses and doctors (to h3lp me in getting patients and names) and myself, for not giving up!
Being persuasive and thick-skinned is a really useful skill that I gotta learn.