Diary of a Student Nutritionist - Week 16 - Seeing My Client for a Follow Up

What an amazing experience it is to completely change someone's life for the better!



Unfortunately, I cannot go into great detail about the session due to client confidentiality but I can tell you about the day and roughly what happened.


I was most nervous about seeing my client for the follow up as I was driving over to the college. I had flashbacks to the last time when I was so scared that my body was in panic mode and I was very worried that I was about to go through it all again. In many ways, though I was quite glad that I had experienced my anxiety in the clinic room at almost its very worst, as it then meant I knew I could get through it like last time, even if it was very scary. Experiencing almost the worst also meant that if it was a little bit easier it would feel great!


I was very pleased that I could get into my room early to set everything up and as it took me 15 minutes I was very grateful. Getting all my paperwork ready, the room layout how I would like it and my timer all set up really allowed me to feel slightly calmer as it was one less hurdle to get over. I then tried to remain calm and take deep breaths while watching other students on the big screen take their turns.


Once it was about 15 minutes to go I then decided to go get myself ready. It was so lovely to see my client was sitting in the waiting room and have a quick catch up before the session began. I was able to have another look over the questions I had planned, go to the toilet, brief my colleagues and take a deep breath. This was already so much better than last time when I didn't give myself enough time to set up, it was really stormy outside, it was late starting and then the mic didn't work, etc.



When I was ready the client came into the room and I set the timer. This time I already felt so much better, while I was nervous I also felt in control which gave me a much greater sense that while it wasn't going to be comfortable it wasn't going to be as bad as last time. I also noticed this time that when I pointed at the camera it did not remind me that I could be up on the big screen next door. This time I did not even think about being filmed or watched by anyone but those people in the room which was the equivalent of having three people watching you and not 15-35 people watching you.


It was still a little tricky to write as fast as I would like and it certainly is a skill of listening to someone and getting it down on paper all while trying to ask the next question to keep everything flowing. This will come with time/in clinic outside of college you will not need to get through quite the amount of questions and answers because you will be seeing them multiple times rather than just two.


One of the biggest things that threw me in this session which was both a blessing and a curse was just how significant the change were to my client's original symptoms. At the start of the client's initial session, we get them to come up with two symptoms they would like to focus on. We then get them to rate each one with 6 being as bad it can be and 0 as good as it can be. My client's symptoms were both rated highly and therefore during the initial I created a plan to help reduce these symptoms and was expecting a slight drop. Well, they more than just dropped a bit......they disappeared! Now, this is incredible and completely unexpected as I have thought there was a more complex set of root causes that I was going to spend the follow-up session working on and yet I didn't need to.



While highly excited by the dramatic change I then realised I had never been in/seen a session where the symptoms had completely gone. I took a few seconds to think...what do I do now then? Hum...hum...Ok... Well, do you have another symptom you might like to work on? Well luckily there was one for me to work on but it did throw me as I had created a lovely plan for healing what I thought was the root causes of my client's initial symptoms. I then had to work on the spot to ask questions about the new symptom and then come up with a plan.


In many ways, this was an amazing learning curve as I got to see how you can think you have found the root cause and actually it isn't as complex as you presumed. It also showed that I can work on the spot under pressure without a checklist of questions and solutions. Then finally that what I am now trained in is going to change peoples lives for the better, get them off life-long medications and heal other symptoms as a side effect of healing the main symptoms.



I left once again being really happy with the plan I came up with and thrilled that this time the session wasn't anywhere near as scary as the first.


I spent the rest of the day sitting in and watching a few other students see clients, one for a follow-up and another for an initial. It really is such a privilege sitting in those rooms and listening to clients asking for help, talking about very personal things and leaving feeling they have some answers and hope in their eyes. It was so lovely sitting in the initial knowing that if they were to put the students plan into place it could completely change their lives for the better and now I am really excited to find out how they got on at the follow-up session in a few weeks time.

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