My name is Anissa and I am currently wrapping up my internship now. It has been an honor to be a part of region 12’s cohort as I have learned and experienced so much throughout my time spent in rotations. I’d like to pay homage to my internship’s clinical rotations, particularly my advanced rotation.
I spent my advanced clinical rotation hours in the ICU with a well-seasoned dietitian as my preceptor. The rotation allowed me to attend rounds every morning, work with so many different disease states, and appreciate working with an entire interdisciplinary team in the hospital setting. A specific experience that I quite valued in this rotation was the level of continuity in care for patients. More often than not, the dietitian will work with a patient throughout their entire stay in the hospital which goes from being admitted to being discharged. This can range from a stay being as short as a day to as long as months, depending on the case. I particularly enjoyed this because I could physically see my nutrition recommendations working well with a patient or notice the places that could use improvement. It was also interesting to see updates from the interdisciplinary team as each day passed on each patient; it was especially unique when the doctors would round on these patients. I felt like such a valuable part of the team and well-respected.
I was excited to be at this moment in my internship career where I was in the final part of my clinical rotations. Something I was not ready for and what felt like nothing would prepare me for were the challenges that came along with it. No matter how much I felt prepared for a new day, I felt like I came home with sticky notes of subjects to touch up on or things to remember for the future. I was encouraged to dig deeper in research about certain disease states and recall on my knowledge of my previous studies by my preceptor. There were consistently patients with new preferences or allergies that challenged my work. This forced me to think in new directions. But, despite the challenges and intimidation of working in the ICU, I found myself to be a well-rounded and knowledgeable intern by the end of it. I have sharpened my problem-solving skills and ability to provide individualized nutrition care.
Cheers to my accomplishments made throughout clinicals! It was a humbling, daunting experience that pushed me into a more confident direction for entering the field of dietetics and nutrition. I encourage every intern that feels stuck or pushed beyond their limit, to keep pushing and reach out to your resources. Never feel ashamed for asking questions or for help. Remind yourself that your preceptor is there for your guidance along with the Sodexo internship team. There is a team of support right behind you, every inch of the way, during the internship. Lastly, it’s also important to remind yourself that not every intern will have the same internship experience as you. Don’t compare your journey but embrace it instead!