Today was the first day of my clinical nutrition rotation at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, WV. I will be spending the first 2 weeks of this rotation doing clinical work and the second 2 weeks doing food service/patient services. Mon Genearl is a 189-bed acute-care community hospital and Level IV West Virginia Trauma Center. The hospital offers a full range of services, including General Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiology, Orthopedics, Imaging and the Hazel Ruby McQuain Birth Center. Mon General has consistently been rated in the top 10 percentile in the county for patient satisfaction.
Today being my first day at the facility, I was oriented and introduced to the general procedures of the dietetic department. I shadowed an RD throughout the day as she performed dietetic education and recommendations when consulted by a doctor or staff. I observed her as she educated four different patients on their specific diets (as well as a spouse or family member if present). She spoke with two post-heart attack or bypass surgery patients who were placed on a cardiac diet, which consists of low-sodium and low-fat intake. She also spoke with a newly diagnosed renal disease patient about the importance of limiting protein, sodium, and potassium in the diet. She always asked each patient their satisfaction with the food the hospital had provided them (taste, temperature, etc). For the most part all of the patients were very pleased with their meals. She also gave the patients educational handouts to take home with them regarding the diets they should continue while they are home. This usually included a list of recommended foods, foods to avoid, and a shopping list. I also learned how to record the dietary consult into the patients electronic record or chart.
Overall, I really liked my first day of clinical and look forward to the next two weeks. It will be a huge learning process, but I am very excited!