Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Physiology Practical II

Currently listening to: Do You Remember The First Time? - Pulp

First post of February, and it's not a grumble!

Following on from the fun experience I had during Practical I of my physiology module, I woke up today feeling rather excited and hopeful, though still somewhat ill and needing copious amounts of cough sweets to get by. I'd read through the handout the previous night, so I knew it would be about ECGs, and I was devoutly thankful that I wouldn't have to deal with the horrors of a spectrophotometer for a good week or so.

I still felt ill so the enjoyability of the practical was somewhat reduced since everytime I made a sudden move, I was overcome with dizziness and felt like vomiting, but I perservered. We split into groups of four per bench. One person was the volunteer and had to strip off so we could attach the ECG electrodes and leads around their chest as well as on their right wrist, left wrist, right ankle and left ankle. The other two people on my group seemed more interested in flirting with eachother than doing work, so I was unofficially in charge of running the practical. I'm not bitter, by the way, fair play to both of them, and I rarely get to be in charge of these things, a good turn of events for all concerned!

We started off by simply recording the subject's heart activity whilst lying down, then when standing up. One of the leads was giving some rather erroneous results, so we took about a million readings to try and get a decent result, using up about a roll and a half of ECG paper whilst we were at it. Eventually I realised that it was due to an incorrectly placed electrode on the left wrist, which was too far from the pulse. Smirking to myself, I corrected this, and by happy coincidence the lecturer happened to walk past at that exact moment. Correct results aplenty and an approving look from the prof! Ahem.

Having assessed the ECG at rest, we then got the subject on an exercise bike to see how they would deal with stress. This was the really long winded part of the experiment, we had to do it three times, and after each session on the bike we had to record the ECG and respiratory rate at t0, t5, t10 and t15. Long winded, like I say, but eventually it finished.

Things to be pleased about:

Horrible biochemistry coursework has been handed in.
Practical II was fun.
Practical II's write up seems to be fairly straightforward.

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