As a young intern, the hospital’s youngest, in fact, I was not expecting to be put to work so quickly and with so few instructions.
My supervisor showed me to the small room in the corner of the Addiction Institute suite, gave me the login information, plopped the pile of survey assessments on the desk in front of me, and quipped, “Now get to work!” with a smile.
I nervously logged in, pressing each key carefully so as to follow instructions with utmost precision. I began to create the SPSS database, desperately trying to recall everything I had learned in the Research Methods in Psychology class I had taken last semester. Finally, I scanned the first survey, reading and recording the patients’ responses in the tiny boxes that filled the screen. Done. Only 1,549 more assessments to record.
Though the work would not be described by anyone as exhilarating, unless you have a true passion for clicking the numbers 0-4 for hours on end, I felt a peculiar kind of pride. The hospital had put me in charge of collecting all of these patient assessments, creating an SPSS database equipped with all the relevant variables, entering the data from the assessments into the database, and the fun part: running statistical analyses on the data and interpreting those results.
This was more responsibility in a job that I had ever had. I felt completely independent, inspiring a new confidence in me and the motivation to succeed in this work environment. I couldn’t wait to show the staff what I was capable of.