Saying Goodbye to Clinical

When it comes right down to it, I’m not really very good at saying good-bye.

Silently, I kind of wished that today would be painfully torturous.  Excruciatingly long.  Boring, maybe?  Because driving to the hospital for my last day was a little like reliving all of my past good-byes.  The ones I didn’t want to make.  And I was reminded of how much I hate seeing things end.  Beginnings, new starts, early mornings—those are more my style.  Maybe if today was nothing special, I wouldn’t feel so darn apprehensive of bidding farewell.

But today was not a bad day.  Not at all.

The patients were exceptionally delightful to work with.  Nurses and doctors whom I’ve never even talked to before, suddenly spent the day joking and laughing along with me.  I was presented with a whipped cream frosted, “congratulations on finishing clinical,” yellow, fluffy cake.  And a card with signed notes from the entire kitchen staff (they’re so great!)

Today was not disastrous, as I had kind of, secretly, half-heartedly hoped it would be.  Today was actually pretty wonderful.   It was, in every sense of the term, a bittersweet moment.  Two dietetic rotations down, one to go.  Starting this Monday!

Goodbye, clinical rotation.  You were fun and filled with layers and levels of new experiences.

Hello, community rotation. I’m looking forward to getting to know you. 😀

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A Book A Month Resolution, 2011

January: Brooklyn

February: “House Rules”

March: “American Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld

For my March read, I chose “American Wife.”  I absolutely loved the beautiful way that Curtis Sittenfeld walks the reader through the life of a presidential wife.  She did it with such elegance and flare, always leaving me wishing that I had just a few more moments to read.  Each new chapter welcomed me into a new period of the “American Wife’s” life, and I loved this about the book.  Despite its slow paced, descriptive nature, I never felt bored.  It was nearly impossible to place back down on my nightstand.

However, in the end, I felt as if the story fell a little flat.  I wanted more before reading that last, final page.  A more definite ending.  Somehow, it just didn’t feel right to me.  But the inners of the book certainly made for a fun journey. 😀

QUESTION: What are you reading right now?

clinical staff relief

At the end of the dietetic internship’s clinical rotation, there is something known as the “3 week staff relief.”  What this means, basically, is that the intern takes over all responsibilities of the dietitian.  She takes on the role and the pager.  The duties, obligations, frustrations, and limitless questions, faxes, requests.

Yes.  It is a little insane.

Yesterday, I had the entire hospital to myself.

Becoming the sole “dietitian” of the day might sound like a good thing, but if we’re going to be completely honest here, it’s actually kind of frightening.  Patients need renal diet education.  A woman just got placed on level 3 of the dysphagia diet and has no idea what to do when she goes home.  A man just found out he has diabetes.  Notes need to be written before a certain time.

Go, go, go!!

And then, of course, there’s the whole issue of having confidence or lack thereof.  My clinical rotation has brought out a whole new level of self confidence that I never even knew I had.  But then, at the same time, I feel this strange lack of confidence because I know there are so many things that I still don’t know.  So many things to learn and understand.  Counseling skills that need developing.

You know, it’s true what they say.  The biggest road block in life is oftentimes ourselves.

The hard part is trying to convince ourselves that we DO know what we know and speaking with absolute confidence.  Of course, nobody knows everything. But whatever it is that we don’t know, should never be thought of as a fault.  It is simply a learning opportunity.

Perhaps one of the greatest life lessons that I’ve learned came from a professor who told me never to be afraid to admit when I don’t know something.  “Look it up, Sarah.  Learn more about it.  Never stop learning.”

As you can imagine, most days of clinical staff relief have been a little insane.  There really hasn’t been much time spent in the kitchen, but (sigh) that is okay for now.  Because sometime, very soon, I will be back in the kitchen with full force and gusto and my little yellow apron.  Yes.  There is a whole lot of food in my near future (i.e., this weekend.)  Maybe I’ll try something new that I’ve always been afraid of.  Maybe I’ll even make a souffle.

Because it’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to do something.   But it’s never okay to be afraid to try.

QUESTION: What is one thing that you KNOW you’re good at? Don’t be afraid to brag a little. 😉

a list of to-do’s

The Ever-Growing To-Do List
  1. Finish major clinical case study and put together presentation.
  2. Finish three mini clinical case studies.
  3. Finish budget case study and present it to the panel.
  4. Finish abstract and present at the upcoming MDA conference.
  5. Finish poster for the hospital’s cafeteria.

Tell me this.  Is there any better feeling than crossing off an item from a to-do list?  Sigh.

The Dietitian that I’m working with during my clinical rotation part of the internship asked me to put together a poster for the upcoming National Nutrition Month (March!)  The theme this year is “Color Your Plate,” so I—of course—focused on including lots and lots of color.

I tried to keep it simple by focusing mostly on a few flavorful, healthy options that anyone and everyone can add to their basic, daily routines.

It was fun to put together (although it really did leave me feeling kind of hungry. 😉 )

By the time I finished the project, it was already 4 o’clock, and I realized that I had barely had any fresh air all day.

Time to stretch the legs with a brisk walk before dinner!

The sun was absolutely glowing, transforming everything within its path into a bright, fluorescent orange.  So beautiful.

And despite the 15 degrees, I actually felt warm.  The sun felt so, so, so nice on my face.

What a deliciously invigorating walk.

I couldn’t decide on any one dinner tonight.  Which is why I didn’t.  Because every once in a while, a hodgepodge collection of random things is exactly what satisfies me the most.

A little of this.  A little of that.  Different flavors, textures, and moods.  I like to think that it’s a little like eating a three course entree. 😉

(1) Spinach and Egg Scramble

(2) Homemade Baked Beans, pulled from the freezer

(3) Zucchini and Summer Squash, sauteed with diced tomatoes, garlic, italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar

(this tasted like summer!)

One item crossed off my to do list.  Poster complete!

One refreshing pre-dinner walk.

Three course meal.  Not at all fancy.  Completely delicious.

Two hours left to read and relax before bed.

Spinach and Egg Scramble

Serves 1

This scramble pairs particularly well with feta, goat or even (especially?) ricotta cheese.  If you have extra veggies on hand, you could also throw in some tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.

There’s nothing at all fancy about this scramble.  In fact, it practically screams simple. But that’s what makes it so appealing after a long, hard day at work or school.  Enjoy with a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and your favorite side veggie for a quick, satisfying meal. 😀

  • A few large handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 an onion, chopped fine
  • 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white
  • splash of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat a medium, nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender but firm.  Add spinach and continue cooking until spinach has wilted and onions are tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour on top of spinach mixture.  Occasionally scrape down the eggs from the side, letting the runny part run underneath.
  3. Once the eggs have come together, chop the eggs and spinach a little with the spatula and cook until done.  Transfer to plate and ENJOY! 😀

Question: Do you keep daily/weekly/yearly to-do lists?  Are you usually pretty good about checking things off? I keep monthly to-do lists, and they’re usually complicated things that take forever to actually check off.  Which is why I usually throw in some simple, easy things as well, just to give me the pleasure of crossing an item off. 😉