Hennepin County Medical Center Field Research

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Hennepin County Medical Center Field Research
At the start of the semester we were assigned to conduct our own independent research in a criminal justice field. Majority of the class spent their research in either a prison or a courtroom, but my group and I conducted ours in the Hennepin County Medical Center. As a group, we took on the roles of ethnographers and were able to study the environment of the HCMC and conduct some very informative face-to-face interviews. Through an analysis of the field and methodological analysis, we were able to successfully draw conclusions about the HCMC and relate them to topics learned throughout class. Upon receiving this assignment, our group sparked the idea of visiting a mental hospital here in the
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Prior to walking in, my expectations for what I was about to partake in and experience were all over the place. I didn’t know whether to expect the absolute worst types of situations going on such as people being rushed into medical rooms or the most basic situations such as patients waiting for a strep throat test. I did expect to see a wide range of patients in terms of race, class, age, and gender. Contrary to the patients, I didn’t expect to see a wide range of race, class, age, and gender within the staff. I expected to see mostly female nurses, and male doctors, majority being Caucasian and middle age. I didn’t expect there to be that much security or any type of possible crime that could go on within a medical facility. I expected the waiting area and facility to be very large, large enough to accommodate a lot of patients at once. Lastly, I expected that taking our field notes would be a challenge because writing notes down in front of patients would be awkward and during interviews it would be hard to conduct a good interview while writing the whole time. At around 6:30 on Wednesday, March 9th, my group and I headed over to the HCMC to conduct our ethnographic research. We had to park about a block away from the doors since we didn’t have any type of parking pass and that was the closest public parking. When we entered at first, we entered through the wrong entrance, which was intended only for emergency medical personnel. A
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