Tuesday, May 15, 2012

M'mm MInT-y!

I have a job! Yay!

Today was my first day as a research assistant for the MInT (Motivation Interviewing in Treatment) study.  Not only is it a relief to finally have $ coming in, but I'm also excited to work with the families.

The children in the study are overweight.  Some families will receive "special" treatment by a multidisciplinary team to help create behavior changes to improve weight status.  Basically, I book 12- and 24- month follow-up health checks.  During the checks, children between the ages of 4-8 come to have anthropometric measurements.  These include height, weight and waist circumference.  Then I plot their measurements on a chart to give to their parent/guardian and go over the results with the parent/guardian.  The goal is to compare weight outcomes of children in the special treatment group to the "usual" care group.

I shadowed the other research assistant for the first appointment.  When we plotted the child's measurements we noticed that they fell in the "normal" range - this is an improvement from 6 months ago.   The next child I measured by myself and my hands were freezing... the poor kid had to endure the cold measuring tape and my cold hands while I measured waist circumference.  Brr!  When I plotted the measurements they ended up being off the chart.  I was reluctant to go over such results with the parent, but my mentor assured me that it'd be okay.  And, it was.  I go back on Friday to schedule appointments and continue doing more measurements.

I finally feel like I'm starting to get a routine - it feels great!

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