Since mid November I've been completing staff relief, where I take all that I've learned and become a RD (just without the credentials). Here's what my typical day as a clinical RD looks like: 5 am: Wake up, make a smoothie, and get ready for work.

5:30 am: Leave the house, listening to an audio book and drive for 1 hour and 15 mins.

7 am: Arrive at hospital and head upstairs to the office. Put on lab coat and transform into RD to be.

7-8:30 am: Print the hospital census, divide the census by floors and figure out who I need to see. I'll need to see MD consult patients, admit triggers (unintentional weight loss, pressure ulcers,tube feedings), and length of stay patients. I research who I need to see via electronic medical record from my laptop. Next, I print the Coumadin education list and the dietary supplement sheet. I compare these sheets to yesterday's and see what's new.

8:30 am: Head upstairs to Med. Surg. Unit. I prioritize which patients I need to see first and I'll do a little bit more research on them by talking to the unit nurses and reading their physical chart.

8:45-10:45: By this time I've seen patients, assessed, and charted on them electronically, and filled out our RD nutrition care plan. The NCP is a paper sheet that we can give to other RDs if the patient transfers. It's a cliff notes version of our interactions.

10:45-11:45: MSU 'rounds'. The case managers, RNs, PT and I will discuss each patient on the floor. We'll pass information to each other on who is being discharged, who needs to be seen, and other things that may be going on. Rounds are the best source of information from an interdisciplinary standpoint.

12:30 Lunch! 

1 pm-3:30: Head back upstairs to MSU and see patients. If I finish early, I'll go back to the office and see if other RD's need help. In that case, I'll create or follow up on nutrition care plans for patients they need to see.

3:30 pm: Leave and drive for another 1 hour 15 mins. Possibly hit some traffic.

5:00 pm: Home at last! Change out of hospital clothes, shower, check emails/social media work, eat.

9:00: Sleep. Yes, at 9 pm I'm asleep. In order to get 8 hours, this is what needs to happen.

It's been a schedule adjustment to say the least, but I've gained some great insight to medical nutrition therapy while I've been here. I'm not loving the hours and driving, but it does make weekends that much sweeter (and busier)!