Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Finding Comfort in my Clinical Rotation

Tuesday, October 25th marked the first day that I strolled through the floors of Washington DC VA Medical Center as a dietetic intern. Out of all of the rotations of the internship, the clinical rotation was the one I feared the most for a few reasons:
  1. My MNT (medical nutrition therapy) class knowledge from college may not have survived in my long-term memory.
  2. The lengths of the homework assignments are comparable to the commute from DC during rush hour. 
  3. I have to take on the role of an actual dietitian during two weeks of "staff relief?!"
I decided that I had to come into the rotation with a calm, open mind because I knew I had a lot to learn. So far, a typical day consists of screening patient charts, assessing patients who need nutrition-related attention, and completing notes. Each day interning at the hospital has helped me develop my clinical judgment and writing skills. Applying information that I've learned in class towards real patients has helped me understand the role of a dietitian on a deeper level.

After just a week of being an anxious intern, I am quickly finding comfort at the hospital. When I say comfort, I don’t mean finding an empty bed to take a nap on; I mean realizing that people are there to help me learn. All of the dietitians I’ve worked with have guided me in the right direction. When I have questions to ask, they are there to answer. When they ask me questions, they are patient with my response.

Speaking of “patience,” the “patients” in the hospital have been a pleasure to meet. It is cool to know that dietitians have some power in improving a patient’s mood by simply asking them which snack they prefer. I’ve been warned, however, that some patients might express their strong disapproval of the hospital food. Each experience assessing a patient has helped me develop my communication skills and adapt to a hospital environment.

Yes, the first few days were intimidating. And yes, I got lost a few times. There is also a very long list of nutrition pertinent medications that I have yet to define. Although I am constantly being exposed to new things, I am ready and willing to learn more so I know I will be okay.

No comments:

Post a Comment