It’s time to share more of my dietetic internship experiences. I’ve been holding off writing this post for a bit due to a variety of reasons. Let’s be honest – internship isn’t all sunshine and roses. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I’m doing, but sometimes it can be extremely draining. And a series of uncontrollable events has made this last placement of mine one of my less favourite to date. Can’t love them all, can you?
Enough rambling – what the heck have I been up to since coming back from Christmas break? Well, I started my last Clinical II placement back at BC Children’s Hospital working with the Gastroenterology and Hepatology (GI for short) dietitian. I was all ready and raring to go that Monday morning back at the hospital, even if I felt like I hadn’t had enough of a Christmas break – 2 weeks go by quickly! I spent the first day doing the usual orientation to a new position, job shadowing my preceptor for the day. Basically just getting a taste of what was to come. At the end of the day, I went home, felt a little sleepy, so I had a nap. I woke up with a headache and a fever. Uh oh…was I getting sick? The answer – yes! I had gotten the flu…even after having the freakin’ flu shot (I am in no rush to get one of those again, that’s for sure). I spent the next 5-6 days quarantined in my basement suite, huddled under multiple blankets, and subsiding off the following:
Juices, cough syrup, and Advil – oh my!
Needless to say, it sucked. I was tired, sore, sick, and miserable. And so frustrated that I was missing out on internship. Had it only been a day or two, no big deal, we would have picked up and moved along. But to miss almost an entire week? I knew I was going to have to make up the time.
I went back to the hospital the following Monday, and it was sort of like starting from scratch again. Which would have been okay, but I felt like I was never really able to get into the groove in this placement because the planned 3 weeks had to be shortened to 2, plus my preceptor was just super busy. Sometimes I felt like she didn’t have as much time as I would have liked her to have with me, just so I could get a better feel for the position, her style, and see how I could incorporate some of those things into practice in general. I was able to get a lot of time for independent work, which was great, but sometimes it was excessive. And technically, I’m not really done the placement – we are working on catching up some of the time while I am also doing my current food service rotation. Hence the lack of extra time to sit down and actually write this post.
Despite the whole being sick, missing time, disjointed placement thing, there are of course interesting highlights to share:
I got to spend plenty of time learning about Celiac disease – we had clinic, did some new celiac diet teaching, and I was able to update the package sent out to families when they have a newly diagnosed child
Learning about pediatric TPN (see my last internship post for more info on TPN) – this was a learning curve, even though I felt fairly comfortable with adult TPN
Learning about a new to me disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis – it’s a fascinating, complex, relatively rare condition…although not that rare, as Children’s Hospital has a clinic for it specifically.
Attending a variety of education sessions on things like new lipids to use in TPN, short bowel syndrome, and…something else I seem to have forgotten
Working with a variety of patients who’s families had also consulted naturopaths, and finding ways to incorporate those beliefs into our nutrition interventions. Definitely can be a challenge!
I also had my interim evaluation with my internship coordinators – it was intense, emotional, but overall positive. Phew!
Ideally, I wish the whole placement had just gone as planned, because I feel I would have been able to get more out of it, rather than having this ongoing disjointed experience. But sometimes life is just like that, and you have to work with it. And that is a learning experience in itself.
And now for your random Instagram shot:
My furry buddy kept me company while I was down with the sickness.
Note: I apologize for any weird typos – the “k” key on my laptop has started working only intermittently. I also can’t type with my left index finger due to the burn that is still healing on it. I’m doing my best to proofread, but I’m only human!