Just a few weeks following orientation, I remember being in complete disbelief when I received encouraging words and praises for my ability to learn so quickly from my preceptors and clinical nutrition manager. It took a little while to sink in, but I realized that with my effort and motivation, I was actually doing much better than I expected. Staying on top of the case study assignments and reviewing the online webinars on the various MNT topics prior to starting the respective clinical rotations was extremely helpful and truly contributed to my success in my rotations thus far.
Although I was quickly able to catch on with completing timely assessments and had the experience to effectively interact with patients, that was only two-thirds of the battle. I needed to work on communicating effectively and being involved with the interdisciplinary team. While I attempted to compensate by suggesting referrals to other members of healthcare team whenever necessary in my assessments, my preceptors had a better idea in mind. I was soon trained to attend interdisciplinary rounds and now serve in-place of the dietitian in one of our Med Surg units daily. The first few days I encountered fast-talking residents throwing around medical terminology I was not exposed to and felt I had little to contribute. However, now my confidence has grown enough to discuss key issues regarding goals of care for my patients and making sure our nutrition recommendations are applied and in effect. I’m also more familiar with medications, medical terminology, policies and procedures, and discharge planning.
I hope to convey to future interns that if you are internally feeling anything similar to the struggles that I have faced, trust the process and welcome new challenges. No matter how difficult or undesirable the task is to you at the time, approach it with a positive can-do attitude and it will always provide you with a learning experience to say the least. If you feel that you are still struggling and need guidance, know that with Sodexo Dietetic Internships you have access to a community of support whether it may be your fellow interns, preceptors, your assigned mentors or internship advisors, and even the directors who are just an email away to address any concerns you may have and to help ease the process.