Five weeks ago I was both excited and nervous to start my clinical rotation. This rotation is completely different from all the volunteer/work experience that I have had in the past. The clinical rotation requires the interns to learn a lot of medical terminology, food/drug interactions, medications, electronic medical record system and able to complete a full nutrition assessment/counseling in a hospital setting.
Last week I presented my mini case study and this is one of the assignments that every intern must complete halfway through their clinical rotation. For the mini case study the intern provides all aspects of the nutrition process similar to that of a Registered Dietitian for the patient, performs the initial nutrition assessment, provide any interventions and follow up on the patient’s progress. Other things to include in the case study are background information, past medical history, past surgical history, nutrition requirements, lab values, procedures, medications and nutrition focused physical findings.
Here are some tips that I have picked up on after presenting my mini case study to six clinical preceptors and my internship director:
1. Be prepared to answer questions.
2. Know your patient well --review drug/nutrient interactions, any procedures that might affect the plan of care and any social issues.
3. Provide information on your plan of care if you were not able to follow up on the patient.
4. Remember to use the nutrition care manual and the evidence analysis library to review the current literature related to the case.
I must say, now I feel completely comfortable working in the clinical setting! Some things that really helped me prepare myself for this rotation were the intern class days and the homework assigned each week. Compared to the first week of the clinical rotation, I am proud to say that I have improved immensely. I have provided heart healthy diet education, heart failure diet education, diabetes education, Coumadin education, charted nutrition assessments and provided recommendations for enteral and parenteral nutrition. I am excited to complete the remaining portion of my clinical rotation. Time to find my major case study patient!