This is part 2 of how I became a RD. If you missed part 1 check that out here. Continuing on…
I did a two week rotation at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. I was with two of the outpatient dietitians during this rotation. The first week I was in the GI clinic (the dietitian I was with worked specifically with kids with short bowel syndrome). We did a lot of calculations because almost all of these kiddos were on enteral or parenteral nutrition support. The second week I was in the metabolic clinic. Now this was a really interesting week! We saw mostly PKU (Phenylketonuria), MSUD (Maple Syrup Urine Disease) and Galactosemia kiddos. Most of this week was spent going over their lab values with them/their parents and adjusting and calculating formulas. I also unfortunately saw what happens to these kids when they don’t follow their diets (these are inborn errors of metabolism and they are treated with diet). I REALLY enjoyed this rotation. When you work in pediatric nutrition you really get to specialize and I like the idea of that. I only wish that I could have seen more inpatient stuff during this rotation!
Long Term Care:
My long term care rotation was two weeks long and I was at Good Samaritan Society for this rotation. I was honestly kind of dreading this rotation before I started it. I thought it was going to be very sad and depressing but it wasn’t at all! The facility that I was at was also a little retirement community with houses and apartments as well as a rehab facility. I think that this really helped make this rotation enjoyable. The people that reside at this facility are some of the most spunky and fun loving people. They have all kinds of activities for them to participate in and they come and go in the dining room that is close to the dietitians office so I got to eavesdrop on lots of very interesting conversations! These weren’t the people that I was assessing for nutrition related problems, but they really made the facility interesting and made the rotation kind of fun. It also doesn’t hurt that I kind of love old people. I always say it’s because I was born an old person though. ;) Anyway, I ended up really enjoying this rotation!
We do several weeks of community rotations. Everyone does a one week WIC rotation. The others we get to choose where we go. My other community rotations were at Cooper Clinic, Food and Fitness (private practice) and Davita Dialysis.
WIC: I’m going to just be honest and say that this wasn’t my thing. I don’t want to bash it because a few of my fellow interns absolutely loved it. But it was my last rotation and the clinic was about 5 minutes from my house so I really can’t complain. I did learn a few things that I didn’t already know and that’s the point of the internship rotations so I think we could call it a successful rotation!
Cooper Clinic: I was at Cooper Clinic for a one week rotation and I loved it! I had a few projects while I was there including writing this article that was published on their website and a really fun project at the grocery store down the street! I also got to sit in on a lot of nutrition counseling sessions with the dietitians in their medical clinic. This was a really fun rotation and the campus is beautiful!
I also spent a week at Food and Fitness. This was with a local private practice dietitian. Interesting things in this rotation include giving a hydration lecture to a running group and learning how to put together a whole body strength workout.
My last community rotation was at Davita Dialysis and it was a 2 week rotation. I drove all over creation for this rotation (2 hours one way!) but I enjoyed it! I learned a lot of in-depth information about renal nutrition that I will definitely be able to utilize during my career as a clinical dietitian. I also had a great preceptor so it was a fun rotation!
In my program we get a one week rotation of our own choosing. We can go anywhere we want for this rotation. I chose Nutrition Support at Parkland Hospital for my enhancement rotation. I spent the week with their ICU dietitians in a different ICU each day including the burn, surgical, neuro, cardiopulmonary and medical units. I adored this rotation! This is a really cool/diverse hospital and I loved being here! I’ve always thought that I wanted to end up working with trauma patients and this rotation definitely confirmed that for me! I really love working with patients with wounds the most. I I especially adored my time in the burn unit and could really see myself working with this type of patient.
That’s a wrap! Well I believe that’s all as far as my internship experience goes! While I didn’t love every single rotation I tried to make sure to remember that it was a learning experience and that was what I was there for, not to have fun (though some of my rotations were a lot of fun!). I also tried to be fair in my review of them because even though they may not have been my cup of tea, they are someone else’s career and passion so I would never want to put that down.
Some of you who might be reading this may be thinking about becoming a registered dietitian or are in the process of applying for your dietetic internship. I hope that this kind of gives you an idea of what an internship is like (remember that every internship program is slightly different). If you have any questions about my internship experience or even about internships in general let me know! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be happy to help the best I can!
Also, I know I said this was going to be a 2 part post, but I am going to extend it to a 3 part post because I also want to talk a bit about taking the RD exam. So stay tuned for part 3!!
See you soon!