For those who know me, or have been following my blog, you know that I have been on my nine-month long internship through Idaho State University. So far, I am about halfway done with the internship, so the end is in sight, and getting that RD/RDN title after my name is sounding delicious. That said, I am going to review the rotations I was on for the first half of the internship, give some of my thoughts, and some of the lessons I learned that might differ from person to person. The order will be chronological, rather than based on my personal rating.
Overall, I actually liked this rotation. I got to meet plenty of interesting people, and serve many patients their meals in the hospital. In many ways, it helped to slowly introduce me to interacting with patients, rather than outright forcing me to examine them for health outcomes, and figure out the best course of action.
The reason this one is rated so low, even though I enjoyed it, was I don’t see myself working in this kind of position, and if I do, not for very long. I got to oversee how things were run in an area that dietitians have some impact on, without doing a whole lot of dietetics work. I mostly did administrative tasks, like figuring out how to reduce food waste, or justifying to staff why certain equipment was a good choice to buy.
Oh boy, this rotation. This is one that definitely highlighted just how bad I am at writing notes within the Electronic Medical Record. I am improving, but for the two weeks I was here it was definitely a learning process. I also learned that I need to ask for help more than I was. I thought I was doing well, and was willing to figure things out on my own, but the preceptor said she wished I would have asked for more help so I could be quicker with everything.
I don’t like working with the main population we saw. I worked with the super advanced elderly that were unable to care for themselves. I felt like my role as a dietitian was just to ensure they were eating and drinking. This is not something I really want to do. I prefer working with a crowd that is willing and able to make changes to better their health.
I want to start by saying WIC is a great program for improving the health of Americans. It gives citizens within certain income brackets some assistance with food if they are pregnant, nursing an infant (be it breast or bottle feeding), or have a toddler up to five years of age. Food packages include several foods that are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
I actually really liked this rotation. I thought it would be weird, me being some single guy with no children, but everyone was welcoming, even clients. I found writing notes got easier, and the feedback I got was more helpful here than the other rotations. I was able to do other activities within this rotation, like tour restaurants with Environmental Health, talk about the impacts of smoking and vaping on health through the ages, and write for an employee newsletter.
Overall Ranking: 1st/4
This was an interesting rotation. I was able to work with a small group on health promotions, both within the hospital I am interning at, and outside of it. Followers might remember that I worked for another program called Food Hero back when I was in my undergrad. This was a similar program.
While here, I got to learn about another health program called the Complete Health Improvement Program, or CHIP. This is a program centered around improving ALL aspects of health, rather than just diet or exercise. It has been found to work really well.
I am rating this lower than WIC just because I already did something similar to it, so I didn’t necessarily learn a whole lot.
Overall Rating: 2nd/4
This is only about half of my rotations, so there will be another post come around May or June that will cover the other half. From there, I might even write a post covering the whole internship, what I thought about it, and recommendations I would have to any incoming Dietetic Interns.
Have any of you worked in a setting like the ones listed above? How was it for you? Are there any Dietetic Interns that would like to share how their rotations are going? If so, feel free to leave a comment (remember to not violate HIPPA! I don’t want any of you getting punished for my blog)!