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Dietetic Internship Update

Posted Apr 27 2013 7:00am
As of Friday I am officially half way through my dietetic internship. <insert unicorns dancing and candy falling from the sky>

The first 8 weeks of my internship were spent in clinical practice.  I first observed how to assess a patient’s nutritional status and write a nutrition prescription.  I spent several weeks assessing and following up on patients and having the RD’s at the hospital go over and sign my notes.  I also worked with calculating tube feedings and choosing the correct tube feeding formulas.  The final two weeks of my clinical internship I did staffing relief.  That means I took a floor and was responsible for seeing all patients that needed to be seen.  My work was focused on the PCU, ICU, and oncology.  I have always oddly liked calculating tube feedings, so the ICU was my favorite.
Hello.  I'm sitting at my desk.
My next internship rotation was Food Service and Management, which I did at the same hospital.  This internship varied from the first in that it was much less structured.  In clinical you did the same thing every day and in food service there were many different aspects to tackle.

Here’s a rundown of some things I did do: 
  • Patient meal rounds discussing food and meals with patient 
  • Completed a process improvement to improve the hospital’s courtesy scores in relation to the hostesses (the people who serve the patient’s food) 
  • Cost analysis of the current patient menu. I made adjustments and changed some menu items that resulted in a $36,000 annual savings for the hospital. 
  • Studied the food preferences of patients on a dysphagia 1 diet to see if they preferred formed or pureed foods. This also included a plate waste study.  
  • Took temperature logs for the patient food trays to determine the temperature change. This was related to the number of trays on each cart that’s being delivered.  The hospital wanted to buy smaller carts to make delivery faster, but they needed the statistical data to prove it was a worthwhile cost so I was the data collector.
  • Created and sold a recipe for fish tacos in the main cafeteria

I also observed all the other aspects of food service and management from procurement to ordering to cooking to HACCP to human resources. 

Again I like numbers, so I most enjoyed analyzing the food budget.  Nerd alert!

Next week is our “spring break” and then I start my third rotation in community nutrition.

A HUGE, massive congrats to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean who passed her RD exam this week!

What part of my internship would you have enjoyed most?
Do you like math?

Love and higher education,
Carissa & Kyle
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