By: Angela Farris, MA - UMD dietetic intern
Five weeks ago I started my clinical rotation, a rotation that I was both excited and nervous to begin. The clinical rotation requires an intern to learn an endless amount of medical terminology, abbreviations, and drug/nutrient interactions on top of mastering electronic medical record systems and assessing/counseling patients in a critical care environment. This is by no means a small fete!
Before I started I knew I had a databank of medical nutrition therapy knowledge stored up in my cortex; it was retrieving this info that took effort. Homework assignments and intern class day lectures restored my confidence and enabled me to complete my first clinical nutrition screen, assessment, and patient education. I’m proud to say I've achieved many personal milestones since I began the rotation. I've performed a chronic heart failure (CHF) diet education, taught carbohydrate counting to a diabetic patient and charted a complete nutrition assessment for an enteral nutrition patient.
During the fourth week of my rotation I was scheduled to present my mini case study. The mini case study is one of the ‘official’ milestones every intern must complete during the first half of their clinical rotation. This mini case study profiles a specific patient and provides a suggested plan of care including any interventions. Additional information found in the case study includes a patient’s background, past medical history, medications, anthropometrics, lab values and estimated nutritional needs.
I’m happy to report I successfully presented my mini case study to four clinical preceptors. As an intern I realize there is always room for improvement. Below I've provided a few tips for my fellow interns that have not yet presented their mini case studies:
1. Know your patient’s medications - review the drug's purpose, specific action, & any drug/nutrient interactions.
2. Bold face lab values that are high or low. This will make it easier for your audience to detect abnormalities.
3. Include references! Document where you found your information.
4. Be prepared for questions.
5. Use feedback & constructive criticism to empower yourself. Couldn’t answer every question? Don’t feel frustrated – that’s why we’re interns :)
I’m excited to begin the second half of my clinical rotation. Next ‘official’ milestone? Major case study!