Monday, November 12, 2012

Clinical: Looking Back

This week, I begin the last week of my clinical rotation.  I can't hardly believe it - 12 weeks, gone just like that!  It seems like just the other day, I was walking the halls of Harbor Hospital, scared out of my mind, writing down every word the RD's were saying.  Now, I'm almost done my staff relief and feel as if I'm really an employee with my own patients.  It's been a super 12 weeks and I'm sad I'll be leaving so soon.

As I mentioned before, when I first started my clinical rotation, I was absolutely terrified.  I kept thinking of all the things I didn't know, all the labs from MNT that were long forgotten... but I have to say, the RD's I shadowed at Harbor Hospital were the nicest, most understanding mentors.  They all took their time teaching me and imparting a great deal of knowledge.  When you first start your clinical rotation, it'll be scary.  But I learned so much, so quickly, I felt up-to-speed in no time.  There is still a great deal that I need to learn, but when I think back to where I started I know I've come far.

Surprisingly enough, the weekend before staff relief began, that nervous feeling came back.  Two weeks all by myself!  Well... the RD's are always a page away, but still, it was a scary thought!  But in all reality, staff relief hasn't been much different than the last few weeks.  The RD's had enough confidence in me that I was already seeing patients by myself.  The jump to staff relief was much easier because of that!  The only difference is that I've been officially assigned my own floors and am responsible for screening and receiving the consults for those floors.  

It's been great!  I'm loving staff relief more than I thought.  And it's working out just as well as the previous weeks of clinical.  I think the key, is having confidence in yourself but at the same time understanding and being aware of limits.  I'm still in "student phase" and have so much more to learn.  But I know I can do it and I know my RD mentors at Harbor know I can do it.  That's what really makes a difference.  If I don't understand a term, or a disease process, I never hesitate to login to the Nutrition Care Manual (or google for that matter) and look it up.  The staff and the RD's won't expect you to know everything just yet, but they do expect you to be quick on your feet!

I will certainly be excited to move onto a new rotation next week, but I will definitely be missing the staff at the hospital and my patients.  I'm so pleased at how much I've learned about nutrition, the hospital setting and caring for patients.  Those are skills I would never had learned anywhere else - not in the classroom or through volunteer work.  I'm thrilled with how much I've learned and how my knowledge and skills have grown in such a short time.  When its your turn for clinical, don't let fear hold you back!  Be confident in what you know and what you can learn and I promise it will be one of the best rotations you go through!

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