A day in the life of a student dietitian

So I’ve been a little quiet on here of late and there’s a good reason for that: I’m on clinical placement! I’m in the middle of a grueling 11 week placement at a major Melbourne hospital. It tough and the days are long, but its really rewarding. Even though every day is so different I thought I would try and share a snippet of what my days are so you can see what I’ve been up to. For arguments sake, I’ve picked a Tuesday to focus on since they have some predictability.




5:30 am alarm goes off. There’s usually a bit of grumbling when the alarm goes off but once I get up, I’m awake.

6:00 hit the gym. I do this a couple of times a week to make sure I keep my fitness and strength up (wouldn’t want to injure myself!). It’s also a really really good way to help me manage stress – I find I can cope with the demands of placement much better with regular exercise. If not the gym, I might go for a swim and I make sure I schedule a few mornings off to have a sleep in!

6:10 ugh why am I doing this to myself?! It hurts and its hard and its only the warm up.

6:50 feeling fly. I’m so glad I came, I have so much energy!

7:10 get home, shower

7:25 make coffee, grab my packed lunch and the on the go breakfast and head off for the day. I’ve been enjoying a bircher muesli made with amy’s grains or this little gem.

8:00 good, hitting some traffic. Eat breakfast in between red lights

8:30 park car and enjoy a long-ish walk to the department (oh the things we do for free parking!)

8:45 arrive at the department, gather my notes for the morning, check in with my supervisor about the days movements, make tea and head off to the education centre

9:00-10:30 weekly tute. At the start of placement, these happened every day but now they happen once a week. It’s an opportunity for all the students to come together and learn from each other. We might discuss a case that each person is working on or learn more about texture modified diets, biochem etc

When the tute finishes I’ll have a quick snack and head up to the ward.

10:45-12:30pm see a patient or collect data for the afternoon. If I’m not seeing a patient I’ll join the ward huddle at 11:30. These happen twice a week and it’s a chance for all members of the health team to come together and discuss patient progress. Even if my patients have gone home, it’s a good opportunity to learn about what other health professionals do.

12:30 lunch time! Tuesday lunches are substantial as there is not chance to eat in the afternoon.

1-5 today being Tuesday I have a paediatric clinic. I’ll see (under supervisor) kids with a whole range of issues, from fussy eating to coeliac disease to FODMAPS to overweight/obesity. Patients are seen back to back, so the paperwork waits until the next day to be finished.

On the days where I don’t have clinic, the afternoons are usually spent working on patient management and doing paperwork. For patient management, I might need to organize extra snacks or drinks for my patients or plan an education session for them so I can give them some important information that will help them manage their health condition. And paperwork, well, it’s paperwork. I’ll make my self some tea, grab a snack and settle in to just get through it all.

5 home time!

5:20 get to car

6-6:15 get home and it’s dinner time! I’m starving by this point so I’m always keen to get dinner on as soon as possible. It’s usually leftovers or something quick and easy.

7-8 patient management: there’s always medications or biochem to look up and learn about or conditions that I’m not familiar with and have to read up on to make sure I’m ready to go and see my patients in the morning. Barring that there’s blog posts to write, social media channels to attend to, emails to answer, other Uni work to do….

8 the laptop gets closed and I start to wind down for the night. I’m really strict in making sure I finish by 8pm to make sure I have some down time in the evenings and will get enough sleep. For those of you who know me, I really need my sleep or I turn into a little green eyed monster!

9 I’m usually more than ready to embrace unconsciousness at this point, ready to do it all again tomorrow



So there you have it, a day in my life right now. I still have a little while to go before my placement finishes so bear with me. I might continue to be quiet until I’m free (counting the days!) but there are some exciting things coming in the pipeline so stay tuned!


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