Dietetic Internship Weeks 33-35, 40: Management (Part II)

I completed my second management placement at Burnaby Hospital, and I was paired with another intern for the majority of it. I contributed to a few quality improvement projects for food services, and got a taste of the clinical dietetic practice leader’s role as well.

Most of our time was spent working on projects related to food service management. We conducted a few safety audits, identified areas where standards were not met, and took corrective action to address these issues. We remedied areas of concern by providing with more  information to fill a knowledge gap, or motivating workers to adopt a new behaviour. We also looked into service improvement projects, which included trying to figure out whether the kitchen staff had enough time to make a thickened meal supplement for patients with dysphagia (yes, and it’s now a part of the menu at Burnaby Hospital), and whether we could make fresh toast using the ward pantry (no, we couldn’t find any ways of doing this without increasing labour costs). We tested and developed a few recipes for the “menu makeover” project, which was fairly similar to what I did during my last management rotation. Lastly, I drafted an emergency plan for Burnaby Hospital’s food service department in the case of water interruption/ contamination (hint, it involves bagged sandwiches).

On the clinical side, we observed meetings and helped out with projects that were part of the dietitian practice leader’s portfolio. One project was related to clinical dietitians’ workload measurements, and another was an audit on the RDs’ chart notes.

Like with any other rotation, I think management is really what you make of it. If there are projects that interest you, ask your preceptor if you can contribute it. Create your own experiences, and like someone wise often said, “never leave learning opportunities on the table.”

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