It's official! I'm a dietetic intern! After week one of my internship I've commuted over 10 hours in trusty Hilda (the VW) and listened to 2 audio books, spent 18 hours with 8 other interns in the classroom, and 12 hours in a hospital. It's been a whirlwind to say the least.

Here's what you might feel during your orientation week:

Overwhelmed: Like any new experience, I felt unsure of the best ways to complete assignments and what needed to be done. We were provided a HUGE and nicely organized binder by our director which included detailed directions of projects. To see a big looming binder is a little panic inducing, but as someone in a type A profession I also loved it.

 How to fix it: Get a separate intern calendar and write down everything. Note what rounds you'll do each week, when you need to contact new preceptors, what projects are coming up, and any changes in hours you know of so far. Think of it as brain dumping to give yourself some space in the noggin.

Inadequate: For my program, our first rotation is clinical. To me, it is the most difficult because of the need to know everything: disease states, lab values, counseling skills, medical abbreviations,etc! When you shadow clinical RD's who have been doing this for years, they make it look easy. Then you try to do the same thing and you may choke.

How to fix it: Snap out of it, you're an intern and you're there to learn. The reason you are enrolled in this program is to discover your style of counseling and charting. I know I'll get better as the weeks go on. By December I'll be doing staff relief and doing it...on my own!

Exhaused: You're getting a lot of information,doing case studies, and changing your schedule. You're on your feet and running around different floors of the hospital with new experiences every minute. It's emotionally and physically tiring. 7 am? I'm already at the hospital.

 How to fix it: Your body will adjust to your new schedule but you need to know it's okay to go to sleep 'early'. I know from experience I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function. That means I need to be in bed around 10 pm. I'm comfortable with being on elderly-lady time.