Happy Monday. It’s the beginning of Week 4 of my core clinical inpatient dietetics internship at UW Medicine. I feel like it’s going to be a good week. The previous three weeks have definitely had their rough patches, in part because inpatient dietetics is just not my best fit.
I really enjoyed my outpatient rotation last term, in part because, in most cases, there is opportunity to develop an ongoing working relationship with patients. Inpatient, on the other hand, is an odd mix of triage (i.e., you’re pretty much just checking in with them to make sure they are eating and pooping, and odds are you’ll only see them once before they are discharged).
Even with patients who have a health condition that could be improved by diet, they often don’t want to hear any advice. Substance abuse is common, and there are a number of patients who aren’t really sick enough to be in the hospital anymore, but they can’t exactly care for themselves, and they have nowhere to go so they stay in the hospital.
That said, I am learning a lot, about the practice of dietetics as well as the inner workings of the healthcare system. Not to mention the horrifying but fascinating things that can befall the human body. I look forward to my interactions with the other Harborview dietitians, the nurses, the social workers, the speech language pathologists (who, among other things, evaluate people with swallowing difficulties and make recommendations about what texture of foods and liquids are safe for them to consume) and the occupational and physical therapists. And I really enjoy talking with the patients (and sometimes their families). So even if it’s not exactly what I want to do when I become an RD, it’s all good.