I cannot believe that this is my last week in my clinical rotation with UW Medicine. Even though I have not changed my mind and decided that it’s my calling to be an inpatient dietitian, I am going to miss the hospital. There were a few days here and there (mostly early in my 10 weeks here), where I had a feeling of “Oh, no, not again” when I woke up in the morning, but that has long since passed.
Even last Friday, when I woke up thinking, “The last two days have been strangely slow…I’ll just bet today’s going to end up being crazy busy,” I was kind of excited to go in and see if I was right. Each day is a new day in my hosptial. New patients to talk to, new injuries and diseases to learn about. Who will have gone home, and who will we get as a transfer from the ICU? I never know until I show up and look at the updated floor roster.
Friday was insane…I saw and charted on eight patients AND went to observe a videofluroscopic swallow study AND ended my day on time. I felt great at the end of the day, and had a profound sense of accomplishment.
If any soon-to-be dietetic interns (or prospective dietetic students) are reading this, I would say this to you with all sincerity: Even if you feel like you are 100 percent sure that you do not want to be an inpatient hospital dietitian, that part of your internship is really valuable. You will learn a lot, not just a about the practice of dietetics, the horrifying/fascinating things that can go wrong with the human body, and the inner workings of the healthcare system. You will also learn things about yourself as a human being. Trust me.
Like I said, I started at the hospital being pretty darn sure that this was not the type of dietetics I want to practice. I’m still pretty darn sure of that! But my knowledge base has expanded greatly, and I’ve developed skills that will help me be an effective outpatient dietitian. I’ve met some great dietitians, nurses, doctors, speech language pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists. I would not trade these 10 weeks for the world.
That said, I’m looking forward to my almost-two-week break between terms. I’ve been working really hard, and I need a rest!