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Meet an International Observer

March 3, 2016

Josephine Lauscher is a final year Masters student in Nutrition Science at University of Potsdam, Germany. For her last elective course, she is at Sunnybrook for an educational observership with the Clinical Nutrition team.

What made you want to observe at Sunnybrook?

I did some online searching and saw that Sunnybrook has a great reputation. The dietitians here are well-trained, and Katherine Vandenbussche, Professional & Educational Leader, Clinical Nutrition, is an amazing leader. She put together a wonderful 10-week program for me while I’m here.

What types of things are you doing on your observership?

Every week I’m paired with a different dietitian on a different ward so I have gained great insight to many different jobs here at Sunnybrook. I observe the dietitian and then we calculate energy and nutrient requirements. We also consult with patients, participate in rounds, and host information events for patients and their families. I also participated in a media training day, literature reviews and so much more! I’m so happy to be here.

Have you noticed any big differences in the way dietitians in Germany work versus dietitians here at Sunnybrook?

I have noticed some differences in clinical practice guidelines. For example, here it is recommended that all pregnant women take prenatal vitamins while in Germany only folic acid is recommended.

So I’ve been inspired — I am hopeful we can collaborate on research studies and put all our knowledge together. It’s a good opportunity when clinicians in Europe and Canada can work together and find what’s truly best for patients.

At Sunnybrook, we try to instill a culture of interprofessionalism on our teams. What have you noticed about interprofessional teamwork here at Sunnybrook?

I participated in an Interprofessional Education Structured Placement called “Teamwork”. That was very good.

I also participated in Rounds, which involved members of so many professions — nurses, physicians, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, pharmacy and nutrition. There isn’t as much of a hierarchy here. If the occupational therapist or physiotherapist or dietitian has an idea and wants to speak up at rounds, they do. And then the whole team works together for what is best for the patient.

It’s also good for the team — staff are involved, motivated, and respected.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve noticed during your time here at Sunnybrook?

Everyone I’ve met is friendly and open. It is a warm and respectful atmosphere. I’ve seen such dedication and motivation of all health-care providers, who act as one team to provide the best care as possible. It’s the idea that “your problem is my problem” and let’s work together to solve it.