Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Federal Work-Study student David Pisil Examines Health on Workers in the Cleaning Industry

My name is David Pisfil and I study Community Health and Biology here are George Mason. Community Health has been fascinating to me since I see how it can help shape the way a healthy community thrives. In 2016, I began working with Dr. Pollack as a lab assistant for her pilot study on Cleaning Worker Health research. The purpose of the study is to explore health among women who currently or have formally worked in the cleaning industry. This is accomplished by the completion of a survey and a feasible urine specimen (depending on the willingness of the participant). Questions asked on the survey give insights on the participant’s demographics, work, socioeconomic status, pregnancy history, health related behaviors, and medical history which take approximately thirty minutes to answer. When analyzed, the collected urine samples will be used to help comprehend the levels between certain chemicals used in the industry.

On a daily basis, my tasks include contacting women who have worked or currently work in the cleaning business to recruit them as participants for the study. Often times, it is necessary to speak in Spanish in order to maintain clarity and avoid any language barriers. If the workers accepted, I explain the study to them, allow them to fill out the survey, and collect a urine sample.

This study interested me because some day, I aspire to be a medical provider. Studies like these will help me understand the cause of some illnesses or will even help trace the origin of an ailment. OSCAR has given me the opportunity to become a better student by allowing me to expand my lab skills through perfecting safe specimen handling in the laboratory and how to skillfully approach participants by explaining everything they need to know about the study. An added bonus is that I can practice all of this in both English and Spanish! I am very excited to see the progress of the study and am extremely grateful to have been given an opportunity to work with such a devoted team.