Throughout the summer, the main goal of the project that I was to perform all of the baseline assessments for a Nutritional Intervention Study. Within this baseline assessment, my duties were to take height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and a brief medical history for mother-child pairs. By doing this, I was able to assist in the set-up of reaching the main goal of the entire study: to determine whether or not omega-3 fatty acids have an effect on childhood behavior. Currently, this study is still ongoing, so there are not yet ant conclusions to be made. The participants are currently in the stage of the process where all of the participants are consuming the omega-3 fruit juice supplements.
Even though we have not completed the study, I have gained a lot of experience in how to recruit participants for our study as well as how to interact with participants to perform a brief medical assessment. When recruiting participants for this study, we used many different in-person and media platforms in order to reach out to diverse communities within Philadelphia. This helped to expose me to different ways of recruitment that I have not even thought about before. Specifically, the types of outreach that I worked hands-on with are making phone calls, creating online advertisements, and going out into the communities in order to recruit mother-child pairs in person. As a nursing student, this research experience was very specific to what I am learning in my classes. One thing that was extremely helpful in my educational experience is the fact that I was able to directly interact with people while doing things such as taking blood pressure. This makes me more confident in my abilities to take blood pressure as well as more comfortable when interacting with people in this situation.
For the school year, I will be continuing to work on this research project as a work-study job, and I am interested to see the end results of the study to see if there are any measurable results of the omega-3 fatty acid supplements.