Thus far in clinical, I’ve had the opportunity to shadow the pharmacists, respiratory therapists, wound care team, speech therapy and interventional radiology. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on several NG tube, GJ tube, and PEG tube placements, FEES swallow exams, a tracheostomy, a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), PICC line placement, and many others! So far, my favorite experience outside of the dietetics practice is being able to spend a day with the pharmacy team as they compounded TPN admixtures. This was such an interesting learning experience! In addition, a few months ago I had the privilege of giving a continuing medical education (CME) presentation on nutrition in the critical care setting to physicians. This was extremely nerve-racking because not only was I giving a presentation to a room full of doctors and physicians, but I was also on a live webinar for other hospitals to view throughout the state of Colorado!
I have been working with outpatient dietitians once a week, as well, toward my community nutrition rotation hours. I’ve spent several days with a dietitian in Grand Junction who specializes in eating disorders. This has been truly eye-opening, and this is definitely where I see myself in the future. In addition, she runs her own business on the side, which is also an area of interest for me. I have learned so much from her already! I have also worked with a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and was able to give a type 1 diabetes education to a father and his 6-year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with T1DM.
Throughout my clinical, I’ve struggled with my self confidence. Being the only intern in a room full of experienced dietitians is tough, and I find myself feeling disheartened because I still need to look things up all the time. My best piece of advice for someone entering their clinical rotations is to never be afraid to look things up. I probably look things up at least 5 times a day, and I’ve been in clinical for several months! Always approach things with confidence and remind yourself that the internship is a time to LEARN and GROW. If we were expected to know everything before the internship, then we wouldn’t be required to do the internship! Take full advantage of the opportunities you’re given, even if they make you nervous or they’re out of your comfort zone! The only way to truly grow as a professional is to step out of your comfort zone and eventually your comfort zone will grow larger and larger.