Hospital Rotations Lesson 1: Alphabet Soup

Was it only three weeks ago that I was ironing my white lab coat, desperately trying to smooth out the starchy wrinkles and my own flustered nerves?  Now three weeks later my original anxiety about working on the hospital floors has subsided, and I'm enjoying the fast-pace clinical experience.  I'm thankful for the dietitians who are teaching me, and I have some lessons to share (look out for several blog posts).
Lesson 1: The Game of Alphabet Soup
Reading the medical charts is like playing alphabet soup; it's a hot mess of swirling letters and abbreviations.  The physician notes are rarely legible, making each spoonful a game of translation and decoding.   Can you guess what this means: "Pt. p/w CP, c/o SOB with PMH of CAD s/p OHTx in 2008."  On my first day on the cardiology floor it took me several minutes to learn that, "Patient presented with Chest Pain, complaining of Shortness Of Breath, with a Past Medical History of Coronary Artery Disease status post a heart transplant in 2008."  It can be very discouraging, but I am finding that with each day I'm getting better.
I spent two weeks in cardiology, but now I'm on the surgical floors.  Each new service is a fresh bowl of soup, a new mix of letters, and the start of a whole new game.  Slurp!

Handout I made.  Heart disease leads to fluid accumulation.  Taking medications and limiting fluids helps these patients decrease the extra fluid and swelling in their body. 
Happy Monday!
Do you have any thoughts on the hospital?
Coming next...Lesson 2: The Humility Pill
(Photo from The American)


Emily said...

Great handout, Rachel! I'm glad that the hospital is becoming less intimidating. Synthesizing all the info in the medical record and understanding the patient's nutrition needs were my favorite parts of working in the hospital setting.

Lia Chen said...

Rachel, the handout looks very professional! So much information in there. And what a fun way to eat your soup with those alphabets inside hehehe ...

tinyskillet said...

I'm glad you are feeling more at home working in the hospital floors. Isn't it crazy that a doctor handwriting is so illegible and it's so important to be able to read it? Your handout looks great and should help a lot!

ann low said...

Great handout! Love the alphabets soup, so cute and delicious!

alivaux said...

Great handout!! You are so talented. :)

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Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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