I hope you all had a fantastic NYE. Unfortunately, I got hit hard with the flu yesterday (despite getting the flu shot back in October) so I didn’t even make it to midnight this NYE. Even though I was bummed, I was still happy because 2014 has been incredibly good to me.
It’s safe to say that 2014 was by far one of the most memorable years of my life–and 2015 is on track to top it! This year I graduated with my 2nd bachelors degree in nutrition, got into an incredible dietetic internship, and moved from Arizona to Texas.
Although this year was filled with so many blessings, I have so much to look forward to in 2015. I’m finally getting married, graduating from my dietetic internship, and will finally become a Registered Dietitian– all before next fall! This past year has been busy and exciting, but I think the upcoming year will top it!
Here’s a look back at some of my favorite posts from 2014:
Currently, I’m on my Christmas break from my internship and will be starting back next week. First rotation on the list is bone marrow transplant which I’ve heard good things about so I’m excited. I plan to post on my previous rotation in oncology (one of my favorites) before I head back and life gets crazy again. The end is in site!
I’ve missed you all terribly, but something had to give in October. I was so. burnt. out.
I had so much on my plate last month that I unintentionally took a little blog vacation. I had two major presentations to prepare for that consumed most of my time outside of the time I spent actually working or doing my homework assignments. Every second of free time I had was spent sleeping, hanging out with the boys, or going to yoga.
I often struggle with the intense workload in this program, but most days I honestly don’t have time to dwell on it. I simply get my work done and move on to the next task on my list. Naturally, something had to give in my life though. I didn’t have the time to dedicate to my blog like I would have liked to.
Although my presentations are over, I have upcomng research projects I will be working on outside of my current workload. Despite this, I still plan on developing a new blog schedule writing a post (or two or three) about all my different rotations in the near future. I’ve had some of the most incredible experiences in this dietetic internship and it’s hard for me to keep that all to myself!
I have another presentation coming up in December and we about to begin the nitty gritty work for our research project, so I anticipate the next couple months to be challenging. Is it June 2015 yet?
Last week (and this week) I am in the NICU which has been such a rewarding rotation. Pediatric nutrition is a whole different world from adults in the hospital. We have been managing neonatal tube feeds and adjusting each one based on the individual energy needs of each baby. READ MORE
As you can imagine, it’s been quite a wild ride as a healthcare worker in Dallas these days.
I’m already over two months into my internship– I can hardly believe it. I’ve been in various management rotations for the past few weeks as well as working on my research project and work for upcoming clinical rotations. October hasn’t been too busy, but I’ve been using the time to get ahead on my work for once. I also have several rotations with longer commute times– which means more time in the car (and less blogging, unfortunately).
November and December are going to hit pretty hard with seven weeks of clinicals as well as three formal presentations. As busy as it sounds, I’m extremely excited for my upcoming NICU and oncology rotations.
I’m sure a few of you are wondering where I stand on the Ebola situation here in Texas.
No, the Ebola patientss are not being treated at the hospital I work at– but it’s definitely hitting close to home. I can see the helicopters circling Presbyterian hospital from my patio. I also drive by the street the second Ebola patient lives on everyday on my commute to work. Scary.
My thoughts on the Ebola situation? Coming from someone that’s a huge germ-a-phobe– I’m not worried. I’m aware of the severity of the virus, but I’m also aware the likelihood of someone like me coming into contact with Ebola is rare.
It’s frightening to think there is an extremely contagious and deadly virus a few miles away– but Dallas is a gigantic city–2.48 million people in Dallas county alone–to be exact.
Working in a hospital I have seen first hand the numerous (and incredibly strict) protocols and procedures in place for infectious diseases, including Ebola. This is not a virus that is spread through the air or even through a hand shake. It is spread through bodily fluids and is only contagious when symptoms arise.
Those of you who have taken a microbiology class in the past understand this. It’s important to remember that not all viruses (or bacteria) are spread in the same way.
The bottom line: the policies and procedures put in place by our healthcare system are there for a reason–to prevent the spread of diseases such as Ebola. This simple fact is easily overshadowed by the media and the tendency to blow things out of proportion.
As cliché as it may sound, I love when I hear an inspiring phrase during a relaxing yoga class.
Dallas recently had a new CorePower Yoga open up at the beginning of August. I’m already convinced this place was built for me considering it’s right on my way to Baylor, and I happened to have moved here at the end of July. Score!
I’m not a newbie by any means, I just had a hard time finding a studio in Arizona that I totally loved and would go to more than once a week. I love that CorePower not only has traditional flow classes, but also offers a yoga sculpt with weights so I can strength train as well.
Last week I was in class when the teacher reminded us of the importance of “letting go” the need to control everything around us. By letting go of trying to control people, current situations, and future outcomes we have more time and energy to open up to the possibilities and opportunities that may come. Such a powerful yet extraordinarily simple concept.
What else have I been up to besides trying to make it toyoga a few times a week? That goes without saying…working my tail off as an intern, of course!
Life has been real crazy over here lately! I’ve moved on from cardiology last week to neurology this week and time is flying by in this internship.
I apologize for such a long abscence. I’ve been swamped. Seriously, if I’m not at the hospital I’m probably sleeping or working on assignments. When I am at work, I don’t have much free time either. I’m lucky if I get to check my emails or texts at any point throughout the day, let alone catch up on blogging (or news in general).
Unfortunately, it’s going to be this way for a little while. I’m in a new rotation every week for the next nine months. That means I will have a new preceptor, new schedule, and new responsibilities and expectations. Every week.
As hard as it sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m learning so much and every day is different–it’s never boring.
Relaxing during any second of free time on the weekends has been critical for me.Naturally, that means I’ve had to sacrifice some of my hobbies and prioritize.
Most rotations require me to do additional case studies or reports during the week as well, which means I’m working on them at home after work. By the time the weekend rolls around I’m scrambling to do all my errands and cleaning for the week all while trying to catch up on sleep.
Did I mention the numerous presentations, homework assignments, and research project I have to do outside of work? This year is going to fly by at the blink of an eye!
The good news is that it’s temporary, and pretty soon all my hard work will pay off when I finally become a dietitian!
Those of you who are planning on applying to dietetic internships this year–I’m not trying to scare you. I’m trying to warn you that it will be a lot of work, but it will be worth every second of it. The point of the internship is to learn and be better clinicians. You will be able to apply the information you use in school and understand the importance of it.
The best advice I have for anyone starting an internship in the future: be flexible. You will work the same hours as your preceptor and therefore will never have the same schedule. Some days you work a normal 8 hours. Some days you will work 10+ hours and eat lunch at your desk (my first day in cardiology).
As Estee Lauder once said, “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
It will all be worth it!
P.S. In the meantime, tell me what you want! Don’t hesitate to comment and tell me what you want to read more about. If you’re curious about my specific rotations or day-to-day activities let me know! If you have no idea what a dietitian does in the hospital (like my mom) and you’re curious about it, speak up! I want to make the most out of my posts and give you all the nitty gritty details.
This dress is so easy (and comfortable) which is a huge priority with the heat we’re experiencing down here. I picked it up at J.crew (on sale!) a few weeks back, and I’ve felt pressured to wear it before summer ends. Unfortunately, it’s too short for me to wear to work (we have a strict dress code)–more on that later.
Luckily, it was exactly what I wanted to wear when Greg and I ventured out on Friday evening to celebrate the completion of my first official clinical rotation. We went to one of my favorite places back in Arizona– True Food Kitchen. It was comforting to be at one of my favorite places, but also makes me miss Arizona even more!
My first rotation in general medicine (aka “gen med” as we call it) was a whirlwind. On top of seeing patients, we had quite a few intern meetings to attend throughout the week, which means I felt like I didn’t have enough time to see enough patients! Our schedules vary from week to week so it won’t always be this way, but I was honestly sad (in a happy way) to leave that rotation on Friday. My preceptors were incredible and taught me all the necessary skills to succeed for the week.
As you are reading this, I’m at the hospital knee-deep in assessing patient charts and conducting diet educations. Yesterday I began my first clinical rotation in general medicine. In other words, I’ll be working in the hospital on the floors with less critically ill patients. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to detail my patient experiences too much (HIPAA is no joke!).
I can tell you I’ll be seeing quite a few nutrition consults for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), pancreatitis, kidney failure, pneumonia, and more. By the end of the week I will be charting and conducting my own assessments and diet educations. Crazy!
I still haven’t established much of a rhythm or routine yet–which is evidenced by my severe lack-of-blogging.
I really don’t have any excuses for my absence–except for my lack of internet connection everyday. As interns, we aren’t allowed to look at our phones very often. Obviously, it wouldn’t be professional since we are with our preceptors all day. The only time I have my phone is during lunch–which we eat in the cafeteria in the basement of the hospital (which completely lacks cell phone service). Remember this post? Be careful what you wish for!
To be honest, I really don’t have that much “free” time. I spent a majority of the weekend doing my homework for my rotation and looking back on my school notes to brush up on my clinical knowledge. I spend as much time as I can each day preparing myself for the next day. This is necessary for me to be able to get the most out of each rotation and avoid feeling completely overwhelmed everyday.
I put 110% effort into my schoolwork to get to this point and I want to take advantage of it and get the most out of my internship. This means putting forth just as much effort every single day–even if I have to sacrifice my time in the blog world for a little while.
As you can imagine, the past two weeks I’ve been overloaded with information–which has been equally thrilling and exhausting.
I spend 8 hours at the hospital (on my A-game the entire time), and no day is the same as the last.By the time I leave the hospital for the day, drive home, go to the gym, eat dinner, and go for a walk with Greg and Dex– I’m beat.
Is it all worth it? Absolutely. Every single second of it.
I’ve never been so tired–but so excited and happy about what I learned that day. I love getting up in the mornings knowing that each day is different and that I can sharpen my nutrition skills even further. Can you tell I love this profession?
This word sums up the first week of my dietetic internship. Actually, that wasn’t good enough. A better word would be…outstanding.
It’s only been a week, but I already feel like I’m part of the family at Baylor. The first week was strictly for orientation purposes in which I attended many human resources and safety presentations. However, I got a better sense of what life will be like as an intern.
After the first week I left with the feeling that this year will be like having a full year of orientation. Each week I have a new rotation, which means I have to prepare myself and do my assigned homework beforehand to avoid the “deer in the headlights” look every Monday morning.
You know that feeling when you first start a new job and you’re slightly overwhelmed because you don’t know what you’re doing yet? That’s what I will encounter every week for the remainder of my internship. Although I’m initially intimidated, I know that it will provide the best possible training to be a dietitian. The purpose of the dietetic internship is to teach you how to apply the information you learned in school and think like a registered dietitian.
For example, I learned more in the hour-long lecture on wounds this week than my entire medical nutrition therapy class. If you weren’t aware, dietitians play an important role in the healing of wounds and burns. Excessive amounts of fluids and electrolytes are lost through large wounds, and it takes a very high amount of calories and proteins to heal the injury. Dietitians work with the healthcare team to tweak the amount of calories, protein, and fluid each patient needs to speed up recovery without damaging the internal organs.
On top of my different rotations each week, we will have research projects and readings/assignments to complete outside of work. This week was exhausting for me, probably because I’m not used to the full-time (40+ hours/week) workload yet. Waking up early hasn’t been difficult, but I’ve struggled with the 3:00 slump and a severe lack of energy when I get home in the evening. If this continues, I may force myself to hit the gym in the morning instead of relying on “how I feel” when I get home from the hospital.
The remainder of August I will be rotating through general medicine and the rehabilitation clinic. In September I have cardiology, neurology, diabetes, and food purchasing rotations.
The day I’ve been waiting years for. You can now call me Kathryn the dietetic intern! Words cannot describe how grateful and overjoyed I am to be in this position. I feel so blessed!
As I start my dietetic internship today, I have a similar knot in my stomach as I did when I went away to college. I was an incoming freshman in a new city surrounded by a whole new group of friends. I was unsure what my workload would be like and if I could handle it.
Despite a few nerves, I’m really excited to finally start (the anticipation has been killing me). The fear of the unknown and “not knowing what to expect” this year has been accumulating this week.
What I do know is that my work hours and assignments will vary based on each rotation–which means this year will fly by. I’m a planner, and the “unknown” work schedule worries me a bit.
The good news? I won’t have time to sit around and worry about it! Instead, I’m focusing on all the positives. I will come out of this internship with so much knowledge and experience and in the grand scheme of things my schedule won’t even matter.
I came across the article Burnt Out? 7 Simple Ways to Feel Renewed on Refinery29 last week and it reminded me that I need to take more time to unplug. My #1 goal this year is to not get burnt out. Easier said than done.
Although I feel much more settled than I did when I first arrived in Texas, I can’t help feeling disoriented because I haven’t develop a routine yet. Balancing “work” at my internship with my life at home will be key this year. To help myself adjust better to my new schedule, new program, and new city I made the following lifestyle goals:
1. Cook at home more often.
This goal is critical for me this year. As a future dietitian, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I dislike cooking. I used to enjoy it a lot more, and somewhere along the way I lost track of this. I don’t normally plan my meals out, but this will be a necessity to help me develop a routine.
2. Stop using Pinterest as a source for all recipes.
If I’m on the hunt for a new recipe I almost always turn to Pinterest. Instead of spending hours on the computer trying to find recipes I like, I plan to make an old school recipe book. I need a one stop shop in my kitchen to quickly reference my favorite recipes to plan my meals better. Pinterest is a great resource for recipes, but it will be easier for me to cook at home if I write them down.
3. Grocery shop more efficiently.
This goes along with #2 and #3–since I don’t plan my meals very well, I’m a terrible grocery shopper. I go quite frequently to grab a “few things” here and there, but rarely stock up on ingredients for full meals. I usually end up with a bunch of snacks in my cart and end up eating soup or PB&J for most meals. When I go to Whole Foods I like to get some of their pre-made pasta or quinoa salads, but even those get old after a while. My goal is to plan my meals better, write down recipes, and get the ingredients at the grocery store every week!
4. Make sleep and fitness a higher priority.
I developed the bad habit of staying up late to do my homework this past year. It’s been a really hard habit to break so far, but I’m optimistic that my long work days this year will force me to go to bed early again. I’ve had full-time jobs in the past, but going back to school turned me back into a night owl. I’ll have to get used to going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up early in the morning again. Forcing myself to stay off the computer and get some rest will be crucial this year.
I also tend to sacrifice my workouts when I’m stressed and exhausted. Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget that exercise actually helps increase your energy levels. Again, I’m optimistic that when I settle into the routine of working full-time again that I will develop a fitness schedule.
I will recap my first week in a future post. I can’t wait to share all my experiences this year with you!
During the lengthy drive to Texas last week, my mom and I listened to the audiobook The Tipping Pointby Malcolm Gladwell. If you haven’t read any of his books, I highly recommend them. I readOutliersa few years ago and really liked it, so I downloaded another one of his books on the app Audible (great one for audiobooks if you don’t have it already). Gladwell’s books are inspirational–but not in a sappy way. They make you think outside the box and subtly change your viewpoints.
As a former marketing major, The Tipping Pointwas right up my alley. The book describes how social “trends” or ideas can take off from the smallest changes. Gladwell details how social trends and shows like Sesame Street grew in popularity from very small strategic changes. My favorite part of this book is how the strategies and examples the author explains can be applied to real life.
It gave me good insight as I start of my dietetic internship next week. Even the smallest effects can make a big impact. Every little bit counts. Work hard and perform every task of your job to best of your ability with a smile on your face. People will notice and doors will open for you in your career.