Friday, 27 February 2015

Catherine Arnold: Winner of the 2014 Summer Vacation Program for Best Presentation

Catherine Arnold, a third year Health Science student recently won the award for the 2014 Summer Vacation Program for best presentation. We wanted to know about her experience with SPHPM and some thoughts she had for students who are thinking about applying:

What encouraged you to apply for the Summer Vacation Program?

After getting a taste for research in some of my subjects, I wanted to learn more about working in the area. This seemed like a fantastic opportunity to get some real world experience.

What project were you assigned to and what's one new concept that you've learnt and didn't know about beforehand?

I was assigned to the Critical Care Division and supervised by Dr Janet Bray, a research fellow with Aus-ROC. The project I worked on involved identifying the sex differences in the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. I've learnt a lot through working on this project. But if I had to say just one, it would be how results are analysed. Although I had some idea of this before the program, it was great to see the entire process from raw data to final results.

What was your average day like at the Alfred?

It varied! Some days were spent sitting at my desk conducting a literature search, or analysing patient interviews. Others I would join the rest of the students in the program on a tour of the Emergency Department, or ICU. That was one of the great things about the program, the variety. There were so many opportunities to meet new people and gain new experiences.

What did you take away from the program that you think you wouldn't get elsewhere?

The program really highlighted for me the links between research, health promotion and clinical practice. I don't think I could have gained such an understanding anywhere else.

What was your favourite event/day/aspect from the one month you spent with the School?

I think I'd have to say that it would be a tie between my day out on a shift with the paramedics and my day at the ACCCN Cardiac Seminar. Both of these opportunities were organised for me by my supervisor and were real standouts in the four weeks I spent with the school.

Would you recommend this program to other students?

Absolutely! Anyone who has an interest in research or is wanting to broaden their career prospects should definitely apply.

Thank you to Catherine for taking the time to take part in this interview. Catherine is pictured above with her supervisor, Dr Janet Bray.

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