Today is National Dietitians Day! Happy Dietitians Day to all my soon-to-be-RD fellow interns (3 months left!), all of my preceptors, and all my future RD colleagues!
Part 10? Part 10! Can you believe we’ve made it double digits in my Insight Into Internship series? It’s crazy how time flies – we only have 3 months left of internship. Not gonna lie – even thought I’ve had some great experiences in internship, I am so ready to get back into the working world in a career I love.
My last placement was the beginning of my Clinical 3 rotations. You know you are in the homestretch when you get to Clinical 3, because you are basically prepping to take on an RD’s position for 3 weeks of relief. It’s all about more complicated patients and increased independence. Something I have definitely been looking forward to – I find I feel more confident when I get to do things on my own, rather than with my preceptor there with me. I think it’s because when you enter a room with a patient with someone else, you still have that student-teacher relationship, and the patient still sees the preceptor as the expert. But when you walk in yourself, you are seen as the expert, regardless of how you actually feel about your knowledge. It really allows you to find your own style of counselling and interviewing, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
What was also great about my first Clinical 3 experience was that I got to go back to the BC Cancer Agency. It was really nice to return to a place I had been, not only because I already had a good idea of what to expect, but to also show my preceptors how my skills have progressed in the 4 months since I had last been there. I spent my time with 3 of the RD’s there, focusing on both outpatients and inpatients. I’ve been realizing I prefer working in an outpatient setting more so than inpatient settings. I guess I’m just not a “hospital ward” person. But even my inpatient experiences at BCCA were good.
Aside from the increased independence, there were lots of highlights from this rotation:
- I saw 2 patients who I had previously seen during my time at the BC Cancer Agency back in November at their 3 month post-treatment follow up appointments, where they were both given the good news their treatments had been successful. It was so great to see how thankful they were to all of the medical staff who had helped them through treatment, and have that “full circle” experience.
- I was able to spend an afternoon with the Holistic Nutritionist from Inspire Health, an integrative cancer care centre that many patients turn to for complementary alternative therapy during their cancer treatments. Since we see many patients who seek out their services, it’s nice to know what information is being presented so we can work with the patient and their desires and beliefs. I still feel like I don’t totally know all of the services that Inspire Health has, but it was great to get a taste.
- Speaking of complementary alternative therapies, I was also able to meet up with Research Nurse Coordinator with the Complementary Medicine Education & Outcomes (CAMEO) Program. It is a great resource for both patients and health practitioners to find out evidenced based research about the effectiveness of alternative therapies in cancer patients. We we provided with great resources we could use in our future careers. It was a nice counterpoint to our visit to Inspire Health.
- We had some lunch time presentations (some with lunch included) on a variety of topics including feeding pumps, protein needs, and a community cancer exercise program through Live Well Exercise Clinic.
- I created a handout for staff at the Cancer Agency as part of Nutrition Month. Did you know March is Nutrition Month? This year the theme from Dietitians of Canada is Best Foot Forward: Plan Shop Cook Enjoy! Poor punctuation aside (shouldn’t there be some commas between plan, shop, cook, and enjoy?!) I think it’s a great theme to help get people back into their kitchens, cooking meals instead of reheating or ordering out. I decided to do my handout on tips to get people cooking, because let’s face it, I’m a little passionate about actually cooking and preparing food (the food blog may have tipped you off).
- We went out for lunch on the last day of the placement for sushi to celebrate National Dietitians Day. It was a great way to end my time there.
Alas, this was the end of my clinical placements at the BC Cancer Agency. It was one of the main reasons I chose my internship placement with Provincial Health Services Authority. I will get to go back for research week, but that will be it. I had hoped to do my relief placement here as well, but due to circumstances out of my control, that is no longer a possibility. I’m still glad I got to spend 5 weeks of my clinical placements here.
As always, I have a random Instagram photo for you.
Such attitude! Or should I say…cattitude? Yes, even I’m groaning at how cheesy that was.
Want to know more about Complimentary Alternative Therapies in cancer care? Check out these links from CAMEO – they can help you make educated decisions about what is right for you and your treatment plan.