May 18, 2011

False Start

Monday, May 16, was supposed to be the first day of my internship. It is now the end of what was supposed to be ‘Day 3’ and I still have not donned my white lab jacket in the breast cancer research lab… Neither have I been in the lab for more than 5 minutes... (ok, lies... 15 minutes.. 20 minutes tops!)

Monday started out as an exciting day for me. I packed a small lunch, my lab jacket, some water and sped drove to the nearest CVS to purchase a bound black and white marble notebook, just in case. I got to the Center (I will be referring to my internship location as such from here on out) just in time… 9am. I went to the Volunteer Office because that is where I was told to report to as soon as I got there. Lo and behold, I was thoroughly shocked and amazed at all the things I needed to have done in order to begin working in the lab. They needed to have a copy of my immunization records. I had to have a PPD (Mantoux) test done to test for tuberculosis.  I had to complete a health care compliance course online. I also had to endure 3 boring hours of orientation, and wait an additional 1 hour+ for my mentors to retrieve me from the surgical waiting room, just outside of the volunteer office.
According to one of the volunteer coordinators, the researchers are “not good with processes”.  She said they’re good with their own work and research and such, but when it comes to preparing their volunteer researchers, they suck at it. Lovely. They clearly did not inform me of all these necessary steps.

So, I was finally able to meet with my two mentors, and the head researcher as they discussed my plans for the summer. We followed that with a tour of the Breast Cancer Research Lab (BCRL), and general information about working there. I got a copy of the BRCL Lab Manual and was told to know it “from A to Z”. One mentor said that with such a straight face, I thought she was serious, which she was… but to an extent. After an overview of the lab and what was expected of me, I was told that I had the option of staying there to start on some of the literature research I have to do. --Remember, two 10-page papers, etc., etc. ? – or coming in the next day and starting fresh. (It was about 2:45pm at that time). I reminded them that I could not start working in the lab until my immunization information was received. Sadly, the Center did not receive those records until LATE this afternoon (thanks, QU… *sigh*). My new start date is now Monday, May 23. 

I’m not at all complaining, however. I am finally getting that break that I would not have had otherwise (driving home from school on Saturday and starting my full-time, 40 hours/week internship two days later). I’ll surely cherish this mini break. 

… And if you haven’t noticed by now, the above image has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it was a cool photo.

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