It seems like is has been far too long since my last Insight Into Internship post, but this last placement was 4 weeks long – the longest to date! What was I doing for these 4 weeks? I was learning all about the glamourous world of Food Service! Because nothing says glamourous like hanging out in the dishroom, looking through returned trays of food, wearing hairnets and non-slip shoes all day. Okay, so it wasn’t ALL like that, but we did have one major project that had us there for 11+ hour days to get it done.
I won’t lie – Food Service was never a placement I was looking forward to. I’m almost positive it’s not an area I want to pursue once I’m done internship. But I also appreciate the importance of knowing how it all works, because if you are working in a hospital or care facility, you will need to work with those who are running the kitchen. So even though it might not be my preferred placement, I still put in the effort to make it a positive experience and learn what I could from it.
The great thing about this rotation was our preceptor gave us 3 projects to work on, and it was up to us to figure out how to accomplish them in the 4 weeks. We sorted out our schedules, set up meetings, planned, implemented, and evaluated. It’s a good thing my fellow intern and I work well together, as it made dividing up the work easy, and we had everything done a few days before the end of our placement. So what were these projects, you ask?
- Updating the menu and snack choice lists for the Eating Disorders Program at BC Children’s Hospital
- Conducting a survey on how to best help patients select their menu choices at BC Women’s Hospital (to minimize disrupting those who have just given birth, as they want to spend time with their new babies and family)
- Conducting a waste audit over 3 days of all of the solid organic waste that comes back from meals, as well as unopened/untouched beverages that come back (ain’t nothing like combing through trays with old food on them)
Having the ability to organize how and when we would get all of this done was perfect, because not only did it allow me to catch up on some of the missed time from my last placement, it also gave us time to work on another major project we had – case study presentations. See, we have an “Education” module that isn’t a placement, but something that we work through throughout internship. One of the major things we needed to accomplish was a case study presentation of a patient we had provided some nutrition care to. My presentation was titled “Managing Type 1 Diabetes in the Enterally Fed Patient” – aka tube feeding patient. When I first started it, I thought it was fairly straightforward and would be boring, but it turned out to be rather complex, especially when you factor in all of the social and family dynamics. My presentation went well, and once it was done, I felt like I had a little time to relax.