So this is basically what I've done as my first week as a dietetic intern in my long term care facility:
Today I met with the dietitian I would be working with for the rest of the week. She had just come back from a two week vacation so she warned me that today would not be a typical day for her. First, we did rounds on all of her floors, checked in with the charge nurse, and reviewed 24 hour reports. She showed me how to modify menus on the Geri-Menu database. She printed up several patients records and allowed me to do initial assessments and walked me through how to come up with a care plan. L is very thorough and helpful and provided me with great feedback on my work. The MDS is similar to writing SOAP notes- it is documentation that is required for long-term care facilities and must be submitted within 48 hours of patient admission.
First, the dietitian showed me how to look for new admissions. We printed up their records prior to making our rounds that morning. We also looked for any discharges that were made. The MDS requires dietitians to do quarterly and annual reviews. We looked up any patients that were due for assessments. At 9:30 I attended a team meeting that included the doctor, social worker, charge nurse, physical therapist, and speech therapist that were in charge of the particular floor we were on. Next, we visited a new admission. We let her know about our Kosher policies, asked about her food allergies/preferences, and asked her UBW. We entered any modifications into the Geri-Menu database. Throughout the day I did more assessments and care plans.
In the morning I worked on an initial assessment, and annual assessment, and updated care plans. I sat with a woman who was not happy with the food choices and was unaware that she could choose alternate menu items. I helped her plan for the following week. At lunch, I did rounds with the dietitian and visited the residents in the dining room. We had a few requests from residents about their items and took notes so that we could enter them in the Geri-Menu system. For the rest of the day I worked on assessments and care plans.
Overall, I really enjoyed my week more than I anticipated I would. The dietitian gave me a lot of responsibilities right away. I am truly SHOCKED by the amount of medications that most of the resident's are on . . . one can only wonder why most of them suffer from anxiety, depression and delirium- they are on a ridiculous amount of meds!! I was loopy and moody from taking low doses of Naproxen when I tore my tendon awhile back.
Working with the elderly is a nice wake-up call: Seeing the resident's gives me even more motivation to take care of myself and appreciate my fully functioning body and brain!!