Did the outbreak affect my practical work at the hospital?

The current outbreak has indeed hindered studying, socialising, and travelling in different parts of the world.

Currently, most people are working from home in Sweden. Students are taking distance courses or writing their thesis at home. However, I am one of the many KI students who still go to the lab. 🧫 Even some medical students have their clinical rotations. These educational programs fall under the on-site training *(also called VFU: Verksamhetsförlagd utbildning) category and KI has not officially stopped practical work yet. There could be some changes in the future. The course leaders are trying to make sure the projects are affected as little as possible. They want us to graduate this summer 2020.

(Cover photo features my research group in early February.)

“During a critical situation, it is difficult to make drastic decisions since we never encountered anything like this before.”

Unfortunately, several students in my class got affected because their labs were shut down. Some have no data for their thesis, while others are able to do computational work/data analysis from home. During a critical situation, it is difficult to make drastic decisions since we never encountered anything like this before. Some people think it is better to extend the practical period while others prefer to graduate on time. Are people satisfied with the current situation? I don’t think anyone wants to experience this level of stress when you are already writing a  scientific paper under pressure.

My research group is still running their lab at Bioclinicum (New Karolinska Hospital). We try to find better options for my project to generate data. All of us help each other out, especially when someone is unable to come to the lab. Besides, I am lucky to live with my siblings since it is now impossible to visit my parents due to EU travel restrictions. I  hope everyone reunites with their close family soon.

Moreover, overthinking about the uncertain future will not lead you to anywhere. It is important to focus on positive things that will keep your mind busy. Some of the activities I currently do is reading, going out for walks, trying new recipes, Netflix..etc. Last year, I wrote a blog on how to relieve stress which was quite helpful. (not just bc I wrote it 😆) You can also gain further insights into my experience in this interview.

Also, try to stay updated on the information provided by Karolinska Institutet and other public health agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) sources.

Here are some precautions I try to take during my master thesis:

1. Avoiding public transport at peak times

2. Social distancing

3. Avoiding big gatherings

4. Zoom is the new thing

5. Maintaining shifts at the lab to reduce interactions

6. Thesis writing at home

Stay safe and take care, everyone! 💙

*VFU: One of the general aims of the on-site training component of the programmes is for the student to be given an opportunity to develop a professional approach and identity, and to apply and integrate theoretical knowledge and practical skills.


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