I just wrapped up my first clinical rotation on Friday, and it felt good to clear another hurdle. I am looking forward to the day when I can just get back to working with people 1 on 1 in a private setting. I am enjoying the hospital experience, but I would choose doing what I do over that any day of the week.
Having said that, I have learned quite a bit. To be honest clinical dietetics was not a strong suit of mine. It was not something I was terribly interested in nor made an effort to learn a lot about, so this has been good for me.
While many nutrition experts bash RD’s (I am guilty in the past), it is important to keep their jobs in context. A clinical dietitian is not working with a healthy individual 99% of the time. People don’t get admitted to the hospital because they want to learn about a diet for CHF.
People get admitted to the hospital because they are sick or injured, and most of the time this makes it difficult for them to consume adequate calories and protein. Due to this fact, RD’s monitor patient’s oral intake and will encourage eating adequate protein and calories. However this is not always easy for the patient, and this is when RD’s recommend foods like Ensure or Carnation Instant Breakfast, because getting in calories and protein is essential for helping that patient to heal and recover.
Now this isn’t something I would recommend to a healthy individual, but it is all about the context. The only issue is many RD’s take their hospital mindset and apply it to the population as a whole, which I think is a mistake and where the criticism arises. But it is important to remember how much good they do and the integral role they play in patient recovery.
With that little diatribe out of the way, here is what I have learned in my first go-round. I have learned A TON about medications and medical terminology. While I have studied medical terminology in school, it is nothing like seeing it first hand. Reading doctor’s notes can be a monster of a challenge unless you are able to quickly learn acronyms and terminology.
I have also learned A TON about medications. The sheer number of meds given to patients in the hospital is staggering. Trying to learn them all, their purpose and their potential side effects and nutritional implications is no easy feat! I am still working on this one.
Lastly, I have also learned a lot about nutritional implications for people with specific diseases. For example COPD. Simple recommendations like eating small frequent meals rather than large meals, because large meals will really fill the stomach, potentially putting pressure on the diaphragm and making it even more difficult to breathe for people who already have trouble as it is. Simple, logical and something I had never thought of.
So that’s what I have learned so far! Don’t forget today is the day of Alwyn Cosgrove’s FREE webinar The Death of Personal Training. If you anyway involved in the fitness industry, whether you own your own facility or not, this webinar will provide you with the tools to drastically increase your success and profitability. It starts at 8pm EST, so don’t be late.
Check out the BSP Training & Nutrition Newsletter!
You will get immediate access to:
- Weekly updates and exclusive content.
- The 20-page report "The Truth About Saturated Fat & Cholesterol."
- Become more awesome!