Lesson 5: Teaching Hospitals-Team Kaleidoscope

flickr photo from dalefarwalker
In the hospital, I'm learning that nutrition is merely one contributing color in a constantly rotating kaleidoscope of patient care.  A dietitian's unique expertise is but one viewpoint tossed amongst the various shapes and perspectives of the other doctors, medical students, nurses, technicians, physicians assistants, social workers, case managers, unit coordinators, physical therapists (who did I miss?).  This multidisciplinary team is really quite beautiful, yet it demands quick flexibility and clear communication.  A single event-one abnormal X-ray finding, a new IV infection, a hold-up in insurance approval-is enough to rotate the scope and send us all topsy-turvy as we shuffle into new positions. 

Despite the inefficiencies, I love the teaching hospital setting.  Although I still struggle to confidently communicate my nutrition recommendations to the residents.  I think the trick is learning how to frame my recommendations within the context of the larger medical plan.  I see myself as one bead (preferably canary yellow!) in this pattern of color, and it is my job to quickly fall into place with each changing scape.
What are your thoughts about teaching hospitals?  Do you mind the inefficiency?

Boston Harbor.  It's been a beautiful summer.
What did you do this weekend?
I went to Ikea for the first time in over a year!  Way too much stimulation for this little heart of mine...afterwards I felt short of breath and pleasantly giddy.

Cheers for Monday!


Emily said...

I LOVED working in a teaching hospital. I felt much more a part of a team there than in a regular hospital, and drs and residents were more likely to ask my advice and see from my point of view. I felt I had a more critical role in the patient's care plan, and it was great sitting in on morning rounds and deciding where to take the patient's nutritional care plan. I think teaching hospitals are more geared toward learning, so you have to be on top of everything and be prepared to answer questions from physicians and residents about disease states/nutrition.

Best wishes for the final weeks of clinicals!

MelindaRD said...

Teaching hospitals are good for learning. With RDs it is nice because you can sit on surgeries (like a PEG placement or bowel surgery) and the doctors are more likely to talk with you if you have questions, as long as you sound somewhat intelligent :)

Meredith (Pursuing Balance) said...

I think the teaching hospital would be a great place for learning, and I think knowing that everyone is in the same boat may make it easier to ask questions.
I'm planning a trip to Ikea next week!!! I'm moving on Thursday to start my DI -- woohoo!

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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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