|RHS Wisley, in the arid plants area, 2011|
My manager is the lead Dietitian on the acute team working within the hospital. Up until this point I didn't know anything about the conditions of my job, not even whether it is temporary or permanent. That has resolved itself: I have a permanent contract for two days a week, and a temporary contract for the other three days, so I am working full time at the moment. Many people are on maternity leave, or about to be on maternity leave, so it is likely that there will be other opportunities when the temporary part runs out.
I have patients allocated to me that I have now seen, and a bleep, although its clip has fallen off so I can't attach it to me. I thought I would like to shadow one of the more experienced dietitians, not so much for the treatment side of things, more about how the hospital works - how is food arranged, how are wards organised, what systems do I need to know about. In the end, I just asked for some patients of my own, and got stuck in - I will find out how things are done as I go along.
Access to some of the computer systems is still being arranged, and I haven't yet confirmed the ingredients of hand care products via Occupational Health. My colleagues seem very nice and friendly and helpful and supportive, so that's good, and I have even managed to remember several of their names. As for the patients: so far they are mostly old, uncommunicative, and being fed through tubes. I haven't been allocated my own wards yet, but I think that will happen fairly soon.
The best thing so far: the way that annual leave is allocated over the year and the rules about taking it means that I have more than a week's holiday that has to be taken by the end of March. The worst thing so far: an acute hospital Dietitian is just what I didn't want to be. But it is a very useful starting point, and being in a large hospital department should give me some access to a wide range of dietetic settings, with plenty of learning opportunities.