On to the 5th Week

Well, this upcoming week is the 5th week of my clinical rotation.  I have to do 8 weeks at my current hospital, 2 more weeks at a different hospital (just to get another perspective from how another place runs things), and then come back to do 2 weeks of staff relief at my original hospital.  12 weeks total clinical, technically.  It’s a long time, but I don’t mind- I am really enjoying what I’m doing just because it’s so interesting!

Because the 8-week period is halfway over, I had an evaluation  with my preceptor.  He said I’m doing very well so far, which was great to hear!  He even observed me while I educated a patient on dietary interactions with the drug Coumadin.  (Coumadin prevents blood clots by thinning the blood, and you have to watch Vitamin K intake because K promotes blood clotting mechanisms.)  One thing I do need to work on is my “authority”- aka my confidence and portraying myself as an expert (although I don’t feel like one just yet!)  I’m sure that will come as time goes on, however, as I become more and more comfortable.

Friday was an exciting day.  I finished up my mini case study report on a patient I had been following for a few days.  He had not only diabetes…but hypertension…congestive heart failure…and worsening chronic kidney disease!  He was definitely more complex that originally anticipated, but I got to learn a lot about how all these conditions affect each other.  Plus he was the nicest guy who was great to work with.

Friday I also did FOUR patients, which is the most I’ve ever done.  I followed up with my case study, did a diabetes and low-sodium diet education, assessed a patient with severe nausea/vomiting from chemotherapy, and worked with a patient to find soft foods he could eat since he didn’t have a lot of teeth.

This week’s homework topic is enteral and parenteral feeding, which is nutrition support in the form of tube feeding and IV administration.  Speaking of homework…I have to get back to doing it!  I’ll try to update again later this week, hopefully after getting the chance to write some nutrition support orders!

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