A Week In The Life of a Dietetic Intern
As of June 2016 I have embarked on new journey that took on a whole new form of ‘adulting’ for me. And yes, to answer your questions I am that BASIC and I use the term ‘adulting’ on a regular basis. In January 2016 I applied to California State University Northridge Dietetic Internship for one of the coveted 12 spots. I was offered and accepted the position of Community Concentration Dietetic Intern for 2016-2017.
And I am sure you’re asking yourself – What does a Dietetic Intern even do??? Don’t fret because I am here to tell you or do a show and tell to be more presice. My week begins like this:
Oh Monday you Basic B____. Every Monday is what we call Consortium. It is a ‘class’ that includes all of the Greater Los Angeles Dietetic Interns – CSUN (me), Cal State Long Beach, VA Los Angeles Hospital, Cal Poly Pomona, PHF-WIC – and we convene in one area for a gazillion hours in a day to discuss Nutrition Topics. These topics can be from as simple as creating a portfolio to as advance as how to do a physical nutrition assessment for a malnourished patient or how to assess insulin medication for a type II diabetic. Wowsa I know. But Consortium’s require traveling – lots of it. I so far have traveled to VA Greater Los Angeles Hospital (off the 405 freeway of death), Children’s Hospital LA, Children’s Hospital Orange County, and Irwindale.
It is also a chance for me and my fellow CSUN Interns to spend some quality time with one another. Let’s be honest some days are not always sunshine and rainbows with unicorns when you are a Dietetic Intern and spending time with one another and sharing our experiences is always a good thing especially for our mental status. One thing that me and a fellow intern have created is: The Fake Laugh. No matter how bad your day, week, or month a “Fake Laugh” will always make it better.
This is when the real fun starts. Tuesday through Thursday are classified as your rotation days. I am currently in my Nutrition Therapy (aka Clinical Nutrition) rotation. This requires a total of 416 hours. I’m sure you’re like “Damn that’s a lot of hours” and I respond with “Yes, but you know what the best part is?” and you say “What?” and I say “The hospital I am during my Clinical Nutrition at – is only 10 minutes away from my lovely apartment”.
Hospital days start at bright and early at 8am. Currently I am rotating with the Dietitian on the PCU floor aka Progressive Care Unit. Progressive Care Unit is just a step down from the ICU but patients still require 24-hr monitoring. I sit with her as we go through each admitted patient on the floor and assess whether they need a Dietitian Consult, Assessment, or Monitoring. Once we assess how many patients we then print out our list and make notes for each patient we will see on rounds. Notes such as height, weight, diagnosis, past medical history, critical lab values, and any other important information to help us create an Nutrition Intervention Plan. Once 9:30am comes we leave the office and go to the floor to do rounds. And let me tell ya – I see A LOT of COOL CLINICAL CASES BUT I can’t go into detail because…..H-I-P, HIPAA. We walk the hospital for about 2 and a half hours = my exercise for the day.
After lunch is charting time. Charting is one of the scariest things but also the most beneficial. This allows me to apply what I learned on rounds and create a Intervention for the patient as well as a plan for Monitoring and Evaluation. Let’s be real – it’s not really me doing it but the Dietitian – yet I get to learn and hone my skills to provide a well-planned Nutrition Assessment and Intervention.
For me Tuesday charting is only an hour because Tuesday is my class day. I leave at 2pm for class at CSUN. The class is titled Food and Drug Nutrient Interaction. And it will haunt me in my sleep and for the rest of my years. Discusses everything from what happens if you eat this food that has this vitamin/mineral and could disrupt the drugs you take. JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS PEOPLE! Oh and don’t ever ever eat Grapefruit or drink Grapefruit Juice if you got like a gazillion medical problems. Thank you. Tuesday’s finally end once I get home around 8:30-9pm. And I prep to do it all over again the next day.
Each day is pretty much the same. Depends on which Dietitian I rotate with and which floor they do clinical rounds on. Except this day I don’t have to leave at 2pm, I get to chart on patient’s till 4:30pm.I then go home review what I learned in the day and prep for tomorrow. I have to remember that this Dietetic Internship is a full-time job and I am determined to CARPE THE DIEM OUT OF THIS. Remember?!?! But I do have to remember to find balance in my life. Wednesday nights are my dedicated swimming nights. Swimming has helped clear my mind and calm my nerves over the past year. It’s a good reminder that fitness doesn’t always have to be in a place with four walls. And its the only night they have late night lap swimming in good ole’ Lancaster.
Sorry to bore you but the same as Wednesday, but once I leave the hospital at 4:30pm it means my weekend starts. PARTAY TIME. (Disclaimer: My weekend doesn’t really start I still have to go to work at WIC on Saturday) By PARTAY TIME I really mean its time to turn into an old woman with no life. Sort of like the carriage in the Cinderella turning back into the pumpkin. Yes I said pumpkin – it’s PUMPKIN SEASON Y’ALL. And now back to your regular scheduled blog post. Thursday nights mean I get to go to CrossFit and get some fitness in as the guys like to say and then home to stuff my face with food. And of course asleep by 10pm because 1. I am exhausted and 2. I still am determined to hold on to part of my old life and coach CrossFit at 6am the next day.
Ahhh! The WEEKEND. I get to start the day at 6am will some of my favorite people. Coaching CrossFit at 6am has become something I cherish and enjoy so much. Some people would say you’re crazy but I love these people. CrossFit – as I said before – will always be apart of my life and coaching classes while I pursue my other dreams is something that brings me happiness and a sense of calm to my crazy life.
Oh and can’t forget about the 8am boys club. I’ve got a soft spot for these studs.
Three words to describe my Saturday job at WIC: JUST FAKE LAUGH.
Take the time to thank JESUS that I made it through another week and get ready for the next. Oh and a sprinkle of fitness because it keeps me sane.
This new life change hasn’t been the easiest but on the days that I get to counsel a person on nutrition or create an intervention plan for someone is worth it. My grandmother has always told me GOD has put us on this earth to help others and this is how I want to help others. I love this stuff. Each day we have the choice to wake up and say I GET TO DO whatever it is you want to do with your life. And when we GET the chance to do what we want, were basically #winning. And if that don’t work – JUST FAKE LAUGH.