Monday, January 2, 2012

Life of a Dietetic Intern: Clinical at Memorial Hermann

Can't say I didn't love getting back into scrubs (those things are addictive!) And while I much prefer the preventative side of nutrition than the acute care setting, my time at Memorial Hermann Southwest were very beneficial to my growth as a dietetic intern.

Of course it wasn't all rainbows. On the worst days the hospital reminded me of all the flaws in our healthcare system. The time that gets wasted during "productivity tasks" that assists no patients. The doctors' chicken scratch that gets mistyped during dictation leading to poor communication at best. When the MD consults you for nutrition recommendations and then writes an order for the exact opposite. Or just the fact that the dietitians can't write nutrition orders (especially when most MDs get only 23 hours of nutrition education in their entire career). And then there was my last day, when a patient in the ICU decided to light his room on fire. Seriously. Tylenol overdoses do crazy things apparently. (no one was killed, thankfully).

yes i know you can wear nail polish at a hospital. I was creating powerpoints in the office all day, i went a little adventurous. no patient contact don't worry.
On the best days the hospital reminded me of all the different kinds of love that exist in the world. I know, that sounds super cheesy, but there's no way I couldn't smile or get goosebumps when I heard some patients' stories. Like the 90 year old man I went for a consult on poor intake. He was fast asleep so I turned to the next available person that could answer my questions-the woman sitting by the window.
"Are you his wife?"
"Yes. I'm here to take care of him. You see he was a widower in '90 and I a widow in '05. We got married in '08 to take care of each other. He is such a good friend."
The only way to be happy after sadness of patients with no support or visitations is to see a patient surrounded by love.

And with that, my Clinical section of my dietetic internship is over with. I learned a lot about different disease states, work with some fantastic dietitians, and got to educate and treat a variety of fascinating patients. I got to create treatment plans for patients, and then follow-up to see their progress, and then wish them the best once discharged. I got more experience charting and billing (and deciphering MD notes. Why say "drinks occasionally" when you can say "rare social ethanol imbiber"??) While I will be doing my best to stay out of the hospital from now on (from both a personal and professional standpoint) I did learn quite a bit.

what we're made of
And.... It's the final countdown! 4 more weeks of outpatient nutrition counseling and then I'm hopping on a jetplane and saying adios one last time to Texas. I'm heading back where I need to be right now-Boston.


Kerry said...

You're almost done! Thanks for sharing your stories on the blog and can't wait to see you back in Boston. :)

Corinne said...

You have some awesome stories my dear! So excited for you! You are going to be a nutrition social media rockstar, well, you already are, now you'll just have the RD! xxo

Seygra20 said...

I enjoyed this, I am hoping to start my dietetic internship later this year. I really like the dietician version nutrition facts panel.

dietitiandrive said...

Good luck with your last 4 weeks, it will feel great when you are all done. I loved the Dietitian Facts!

Janel said...

You're almost done, which means you're almost back in Boston wheeeeeee!!!!

carlenesfigments said...

So excited for you!

Tiffany Youngren said...

This is so interesting! Great job - thanks for the great insight, too! Congrats on your graduation :D

Take care!

~ Tiffany

Transfer of Health
Healthy Living and Recipes

Patrick Odea said...

Well I guess congratulations are in order for you! You did it girl! At least now you're ready to embrace a whole new world of Dentistry patient resources, if that counts in your impressive CV too. Cheers!