My first couple of days of placement have been busy but luckily not too long so far – although I’m sure that is set to change soon. This week I’ve been doing various inductions (including IT training – yay!) and shadowing a few dietitians.
So far, I have only got involved in taking diet histories of the patient as part of the initial consultation. This entails me asking the patient to describe a typical day’s food and drink in the context of their usual routine. I may then focus in on certain aspects of the diet history that might be important. For example, I may ask an IBS patient a little bit more about their caffeine intake and their stress levels as these are particular triggers for many people with the condition. A detailed diet history enables the dietitian to understand current food habits and lifestyle, not just so that we know what to improve on, but also so we can get a greater understanding of the patient’s day to day life. (There’s no point making a suggestion or recommendation that the patient has no chance of implementing.)
Being on placement out in the community this summer means that I am doing a lot of walking and catching various buses. Luckily, I’ve got a couple of things which are making my life much easier whilst I’m on placement.
I have finally accepted (after years of blisters) that it’s essential for me to have comfortable shoes to walk around London in. It does mean that I need to take work shoes with me, but I’m happy to go to that effort to be able to power walk with ease!
Music & Podcasts
My commute/walk to most of my sites is about an hour to an hour and a half so I listen to my favourite songs or podcasts on my way.
I even went so far as to make a playlist of my current favourite tunes to listen to at the moment on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/1138014904/playlist/6HUiSAs6iEw63Cb42h8W7E
A few of the podcasts that I have been listening to recently include:
The One Girl Band Podcast with Lola Hoad
BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour (especially interesting in the lead up to the election)
Don’t Salt My Game with Laura Thomas, PhD
Letters to My Fanny – Cherry Healey (I think Cherry is on a break from doing podcasts at the moment but her old ones are absolutely hilarious and definitely worth going back to listen to!)
I still much prefer using a paper diary to my phone, and I don’t know where I’d be without mine at the moment! I’m also a complete sucker for beautiful stationary – I got my silver diary from kikki.K (in the sale, though).
Very unglamorous, but essential! There aren’t always places for me to buy food at the different placement sites, but it also saves me a lot of money to make packed lunches. Why don’t you check out my previous blog posts on meal planning and salad inspiration for some tips and ideas?
I’ll try to keep you guys posted on how I’m getting on during my placement throughout the summer. I know you guys will understand that I will never divulge details about where exactly I am working or any specifics about the consultations to ensure that I maintain complete patient confidentiality. But I am very happy to share what I’m learning about dietetics as a profession and my own personal development.
Have a good rest of the week!