Dietetic Internship Orientation
July 11th was the first official day of my dietetic internship.
Well, I started early so other than my Inner Door Center rotation, this was it! The day had finally arrived! The first day was less exciting than I thought though, submitting my check (ouch) and lots of paperwork.
The week went on and we had a variety of different experiences including harvesting garlic, making education material about PUFAs, and a lot of guest speakers. Oh, and a yoga class by yours truly ;)
The guest speakers came from all different backgrounds. The room was somber as the oncologist dietitian spoke about making people comfortable in end-of-life care, and what the current state of Hospice is. There was an alternative medicine dietitian who talked about the LEAP test, which utilizes your blood and examines it's reaction with 200 of the most common foods to determine how inflammatory that food is to your system. We were all a little skeptical since the science was still shaky, but she had a great success rate with her patients and had great insight involving running a private practice. Another private practice dietitian came in to present as well--she has a relationship with KIND bars (so she usually can provide some samples at presentations she does) and does general nutrition counseling. She gets her clients through referrals, mostly doctors she's developed a relationship with over time or her powerful networking skills. She is hyper-available to her clients, allowing them to contact her at any time and she attributes her success to this technique, believing that she develops a better relationship with her clients this way and they feel supported. That may be the case, but I'm definitely not ready to have people texting me at 2am about overcoming a pizza craving (but we can definitely talk about it in your next appointment).
The strangest presentation was probably when we got to sample all of the nutrition supplements used in hospitals (ensure, pediasure, etc). We had just eaten a delicious lunch so I won't say that they were exactly mouthwatering, but I think it was really important for us to have an idea of what we are asking our patients to drink. When a patient is in the hospital, it's already a stressful environment, in addition to whatever symptoms they are suffering from, and then they have to drink a milky chocolate drink three times a day? It's a hard sell. By getting even just a small glimpse into what we are asking of our patients, we will be able to relate to them and hopefully work with them a little more (do you want it on ice? strawberry flavored instead?).
Our director also reviewed subjective global assessment with all of the interns in order to prepare those of us who were entering the clinical environment the following week. We also had some training on the charting system at the local hospital. The two functional food potlucks were probably my favorite part--not packing a lunch means more sleep, and future dietitians make great healthy food. We also got our schedules for our rotations. I am super excited! I can't wait to get all of this experience under my belt, and get one step closer to my RD credential.