Why I like Oncology (rotation)

This week we started our clinical rotations, which is where we will be until September. We are still in the hospital and will make occassional “field trips” to other specialities (in which Mayo doesn’t specialize). Examples include pediatrics and community (WIC). Every 2 weeks we change specialities, so like this week and next I’m in Oncology, then after next week I’m in cardiology for 2 weeks. Pretty cool, ja?

I am starting to really enjoy the oncology specialization. Why?

1. I get to see the same patients at least every other day. They are on chemo, so appetite changes, nutrition status, etc changes frequently, thus they need to see us more than once a week (sometimes, not all the time). The average patient stay is 4.4 days, so for several other rotations, you only see a patient once, diagnose them, and never see them again.

2. I like being the cheerleader/encourage to patients. Sometimes patients don’t have a family member or friend to stay with them. Imagine going through chemo, which is already really tough on your body, and not having someone there to support you? Wow. I can’t even imagine. Part of me enjoys the nurture part too. Just talking to a patient, seeing how he/she are doing, what his/her disposition is, etc. I also like to see if they are progressing are not. Maybe it’s because I like people in general (***moves hands in a circle to indicate world/globe***) and genuinely care about them.

Not really in my R.D. job description, but definitely ingrained in my personality. I JUST LIKE PEOPLE, okay?

I haven’t done just oncology this week. I’ve also seen patients with renal, lung, liver, heart (basically, all organ) problems, so we get to see a variety of patients across the board. It’s amazing how many different nutritional needs there are for each disease state. Please keep in mind that we aren’t on staff relief yet, so there is always a dietitian with me making sure that I ask the right questions. I have interviewed several patients, then the dietitian jumps in and fills in the cracks that I left. With time, I’ll get the interview down pat!

Picture found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/araleya/2053280825/

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