Although I had known that the first portion of the program consisted of both Spanish and Medical Instrumentation training, I guess I did not realize how intense it was going to be. Every day we have Spanish class from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm, and for the Engineering portion of the day a Medical Instrumentation lecture from 1:00 – 2:00 pm and then a Instrumentation lab from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Our Spanish instructor gives us homework every night, usually it is a short essay and a few exercises in our workbooks. For our engineering classes we usually have to read a chapter from our textbook and the lab that we will do the following day. We are quizzed on this material the next day. I am in the most advanced Spanish class and the material is usually material that I have not seen in years or something that we never even discussed in my grammar classes. Most days by 12:00 pm my head is spinning and I could not run out of class to eat lunch any faster. The afternoon lectures usually cover one piece of medical equipment, how it functions, the most common problems encountered, and how to fix these problems. The labs have pretty much all dealt with electric circuits. Both Kara and I have had minimal experience with circuits (an introductory course and lab), so even though we may have read about some of these components we don’t fully understand their function or know how they are physically introduced into a circuit. Needless to say, a lot of information is being thrown my way on a daily basis, and frankly it is exhausting. I can acknowledge the importance of the training because we are working on equipment that can save/take a persons life and do appreciate this opportunity to get hands on experience with electrical circuits and medical equipment, but sometimes my days are just plain frustrating.
Today was the most frustrating of them all. In our previous lab we built a circuit that could be used as a power source (with an adjustable voltage output) for a piece of medical equipment that was lacking one. Our task today was to test our circuit to make sure that it worked, so we crossed our fingers and plugged it in, only to find it did not work. After hours and hours of trouble shooting, and all 3 of our instructors checking our connections, our coordinator told us to call it a day. He said as far as he could see we did everything right and most likely it was a faulty component. We had really taken our time the day before to make sure we understood what we were doing and that we did everything right. We spent hours staring at this circuit and even stayed an hour or so after all the other groups and still no concrete conclusion was made. I think I would have been happier if they would have just found a mistake. After a long and chaotic bus ride home (rush hour and a crazy bus driver who stopped in the middle of the street and got out of the drivers seat and opened the door to yell at the car next to him), I am hungry (mom is running an hour late with dinner) and ready for bed. Excuse my rant.