Sunday, February 11, 2007

Laboratory excitement

This week, we 1st years finished our 2nd lab experiment in our Assessment of Physiological Function class. In a prior post, I referred to this class as that "monster 3-credit hour lab class" and I had expressed some apprehension about it, mostly because I had gotten the impression that it was one of those classes that was going to consume all my time and kick my butt in the process. Well, I will say that we have been spending a lot of time in the lab, but it's been okay so far, and I'm actuallly enjoying myself. We get to work with a lot of blood samples and run things like hematocrit, hemaglobin, glucose, lactate, and other various blood parameters that you might have measured when you go to the doctor's office.

This particular lab experiment has been an interesting experience because the 6 of us in the class have been finding new and innovative ways to cause equipment malfunction and screw up data. Last Tuesday, it was my turn to do so, as I discovered a new way to freeze the computer program that analyzes expired gases (when someone is exercising on the bike or treadmill, we have them breathe into a mouthpiece that collects their expired air). In any case, learning how to fix our problems now will hopefully make us better at trouble-shooting, which may come in handy for the ominous oral final (more on that later).

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