02 February 2009

Groundhog Day is Every Day Around Here

Well, more or less.

At the three week mark I think I've settled into a routine of sorts:
I get up at 6a (that's when my alarm goes off, some mornings my bladder wakes me up before the clock).

Walk to work and grab some breakfast, including 1 diet Pepsi, and a chocolate milk in my coffee. I'll check my work email and printout the ward sheets.

Next is the Clinical Openers meeting with the hospital commander - check out all the admissions over the past 24 hours, our blood supply, the expected surgeries, and the current census. Then we get a morning talk (case presentation, services briefing, a Grand Rounds or morbidity/mortality conference).

After that are the ward rounds where we follow our Trauma Czar around like little ducklings, leaning in to hear the reports of each patient (my job is to speak up about the nutrition, is the patient getting enough, do they need a change in their nutrition support, etc). Before the ward rounds I have about 30 min to get all the new patients screened (measure lengths and estimate weights, then calculate needs and nutrition plan). Then during or immediately after rounds I'll write the nutrition support orders.

Shortly after that (around mid-morning) the Nutritional Medicine flight informally (most of the time) meets to communicate any diet needs, or if something is happening they haven't been told about yet. And this gives them a chance to let me know if they need anything. Although I have an open door policy so they are free to come to me anytime they need something, they haven't really (they are self sufficient at their regular job duties).

Now I have time to answer the rest of my emails (my non-work accounts are accessible, but not my blog nor flickr) and working on projects.

After lunch I'll go round the ward to see if anything has changed since morning rounds and then I'll write my chart notes.

Right now I have a bunch of presentations I'm creating or editing - a Case Presentation for an Army Nutrition Conference coming up at the end of the month (I hope I get to go) or a briefing for folks involved in a weight loss competition on base (first up next week is Behavior Modification).

My goal is to get over to the gym around 4p (or maybe the pool) every day. Previously I have been coming back to work after exercise, or just skipping the workout and staying at the hospital late. 12 hour days should not be the norm for me. So this week starts a new habit (I hope). Getting my butt out of there and NOT going back for dinner. And not staying all day on Sunday (my day off) anymore.

The evenings are spent in the Rec Center where I bring my dinner back from the Dining Facility and eat while booting up the laptop. Here is where I have the best wifi access right now (it's not in my room yet) which is slow but at least it works for $60/month and I have access to indoor plumbing, water, and a power outlet (most of the time). If I'm really stressing, I can leave my stuff with someone to watch while I run across the dirt street to the Shoppette for some candy.

I'll usually pack it up somewhere between 10p & midnight. Brush my teeth and read or watch a DVD in bed. Either 11p or 12m has been my typical bed time. Next morning, I do it all again. And in the same uniform (just change the underwear, shirt and socks). Every 4 or 5 days I'll drop off or pick up some laundry, just so I don't get into a total rut. I swear I'm going back to that Beauty Shop this Sunday for a manicure! I promise!

And this is my day, most every day....and will be my day, most every day, for the next six months. See? Groundhog Day.


There are some exceptions. Like the Ice Breaker Party at the hospital last night. See, even dietitians eat ice cream some times.


  1. It IS like Groundhog Day!!! Maybe you can be like Bill Murray and try to switch it up a little!

  2. The different patients, the presentations/briefings, and the DVDs I'm watching help change up the background of the day.

  3. Funny thing. It didn't taste that great. Maybe it's not my favorite food anymore.