Wednesday, October 16, 2013

URSP Student Chessy Dintruff Researches the The Identification of Factors Contributing to Relationship Strain among Family Members and Stroke Survivors

     I became interested in this study, because according to the National Stroke Association, there are an estimated 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the United States (National Stroke association, 2013). This statistic implies that if there are 7,000,000 stroke survivors, the amount of family members affiliated with the stroke survivors are either equivalent or possibly even double that amount.

     A personal example where my proposed research has touched my life was how a direct family member of mine was affected by a severe stroke. Living with a stroke survivor has given me first hand knowledge of how the effects of a brain injury can impact a person’s everyday life. It is this experience that sparked my interest in the fact that a severe stroke may not only affect the stroke survivor, but also the family members. 

     When bestowed an opportunity to work with George Mason University and INOVA hospital to pursue my study, it related to my long-term goals by interacting with patients and by networking with current health care providers. In the future, I plan on achieving a Masters degree as a Physician Assistant. Embarking on an independent research study such as this, will give me a humbling experience working in partnership with some very talented people as well as helping to open the door for more opportunities to reach my goals.

     On a weekly basis, I correspond through e-mail as well as meet in person with my mentor. I plan to be working as an intern at the INOVA neurosciences research department to polish my research and gain participants to take part in my research study. One thing I discovered this week is to not get disappointed with set backs, but to use those setbacks to your advantage. Just because it may feel like you fell a few steps behind, it does not mean that your study is over. In fact, it may have just begun!