Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blog Post Module 4

And boy, does my current position ever involve teaching! I work in nutrition support, and we have patients who either transition home from the hospital on enteral/parenteral nutrition, or they are started on nutrition therapy directly in the home. I am mostly in charge of the outpatient clinic, and a large part of my role is teaching patients and their caregivers how to use the enteral feeding pump, and care for feeding tubes, or to care for central lines, administer TPN. Along with that I also teach them signs and symptoms to monitor - depending on the type of nutrition, things like feeding intolerance, infection, electrolyte imbalances, etc. If patients are on TPN long term I will teach them and their care givers how to change their central line dressings, as well.
I tried to think of a healthcare job that doesn't involve teaching - and there isn't one. We are either teaching patients, teaching each other or teaching the next generation of whatever we are. Doctors teach nurses. Nurses teach doctors. Laboratory scientists teach doctors and nurses (I have done a lot of that, as well). Even if we are in a position that is far from patient care, like informatics :) we will be involved with teaching other people how to use new technology.
Maybe a really sour anesthesiologist, who refuses to take students - that health care worker might not be involved in teaching - but I still think they would need to pass some information on to their patient at some point...