flickr photo from Digital ExplorerAt 70 mph, the hospital rotations are flying by. 8 weeks ago I was standing in the parkling lot, my head filled with nutrition theories, my arms loaded with textbooks. But then I stepped from the parking lot onto the hospital floors, and that's when the journey began.
On this road trip I picture myself in a red '94 Jeep Wrangler (oh how I miss this car), driving through the practical lessons of nutrition care in a hospital setting. With 4 weeks left, I'm keeping my eyes on the final destination. Destination Competency.
Two thoughts. (Thankfully a blog is both a journal and an information space!)
1. Embrace the U-Turns
Four weeks ago I got pulled to the side of the road and gently informed that my performance on the hospital floors needed to improve. In particular, I was mistakenly pushing myself to see more patients per day, but failing to properly tailor my nutrition notes for each individual's specific care. Increased quantity, with decreased quality. Yup, time for a U-turn.
I didn't cry in that meeting (although later I smeared a patient's medical chart with a few watery sniffles). In reality, anyone can take a wrong turn, but we are thankful for the roadsigns that guide us. A change of direction can be a blessing.
2. Drive Solo
Sometimes I get distracted by the other cars on the road. I compare myself to other grad students, med students, dietetic interns, and friends. Although I love my trusty Jeep, it has a broken tapedeck and no air-conditioning; I get easily discouraged when flashy BMWs and cute mini-Coopers whiz by in the left lane. "How come I'm such a slower learner?" "I wish I was a witty communicator so that patiens would like me." Hush hush. This is when I repeat to myself: "Girl, just learn what you are supposed to learn. Be earnest, be wholehearted. Be thankful for the opportunities God has given you. Accept criticism, embrace the U-turns. Keep your eyes on the destination, and chug ahead."
With this attitude, I'm free to take off the hard top (convertible!), turn up the music, and enjoy the ride.
Update: 4 weeks left of adult inpatient! This week I'm finishing the General Medicine and Oncology/Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant floors. I absolutely loved these floors and will be sad to leave them.
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
by Atul Gawande (author of Complications and The Checklist Manifesto)
Insightful and amusing. I'm enjoying a new understanding of insurance battles, a new appreciation of hand sanitizer pumps, and a new view of patients as human beings rather than a mere diagnosis.
Check out Gawande's latest article in The New Yorker about the use of modern medicine in terminal illness. This sobering article gives me new zeal as a future clinician!
Thanks for listening.Happy Thursday,