8 weeks: the internship countdown

Hi all!

It’s been awhile since I last updated you on my dietetics internship, so here we go 😀

I went back into internship full bore on June 1. I finished my second outpatient placement in the renal ward (hemodialysis) on June 15. And I’m now in the last week of my relief placement.

I thought renal would be mentally tough. I’ve had a fear of dialysis since I saw that god-awful movie Steel Magnolias just a few years after being diagnosed with type 1.

In my clinical nutrition course, last year, I dug my fingernails into the skin of my arm through the duration of the renal lesson; that’s how bad it was!

Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 8.48.48 PM
The dig marks of my long-standing renal anxieties 🙁

Surprisingly though, renal wasn’t an issue at all.

I saw the machines.

They didn’t bug me.

I chatted with patients.

It didn’t affect me.

I was able to separate my being with type-1 from their conditions – that was huge!

And it was in renal that I first started to look like one of the cool kids from Grey’s Anatomy 😉

I started relief three weeks ago.

Relief is essentially me in charge of a ward (general medicine) with supervision from afar.

I do all my in-patient assessments and follow-ups on my own, sit in rounds on my own, write my chart notes on my own, conduct education on my own, decide on diet orders on my own. I prioritize patients and give my preceptor (supervising dietitian) patients accordingly.

It’s awesome.

I don’t feel like I have someone hovering over my shoulder all the time, or judging my every move. I get why I needed that throughout internship, don’t get me wrong, but it’s pretty stressful nonetheless. And now, not really having that, I’m feeling almost like a real dietitian over here.

My chart notes still need to be signed off by my preceptor, and if I have questions, my preceptor is a simple text or conversation away, and if she has concerns, she lets me know.

But pretty much, I’ve been given autonomy and freedom, which I totally thrive on!

Initially, my relief was supposed to be at a different hospital, but was changed just a few days prior due to a Covid outbreak at that hospital.

I was disappointed for the change in placement as that hospital would have been a way easier commute, but weighing Covid vs. Commute, I think I’m leaning on the side of not getting Covid!

Unfortunately, however, there have been some cases that have come to the hospital I’m at, specifically on the ward I’m working on.

I’m not going to lie, I do have worries and concerns about it – given my T1D status putting me in that vulnerable population.

I’m constantly washing and sanitizing my hands (even more so than before) and sporting PPEs (personal protective equipment) – goggles, masks, gowns, even in rooms that don’t require gown coverage – to try and keep myself, and others around me, as safe as possible.

Because this just totally wigs me out! Image created by Rok Mar, unsplash.com

On the ward, I’m basically a walking advertisement for Freestyle Libre.

Nearly every day I have patients and staff asking me about my Libre. All looking for information, wondering about the ease of use, it’s accuracy, and comfortability of the sensor.

For me, the Libre has been win-win on all fronts. Sure it has its hiccups here and there, but mostly I’m all positive, which is the message I’m passing along to all those asking ????

Always on display.

Less than 8 weeks to go until internship comes to an end!

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