dietetic internship wrap-up

It’s hard to believe 22 weeks have come and gone since starting my dietetic internship at UNC Hospitals.

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But guess what? It’s over! I could hardly believe it as I packed up my desk on Tuesday. Looking back on everything I did though, it’s actually not surprising the time flew by so fast.

12 Weeks of Adult General Rotations:

  • Weeks 1-2: Diabetes, Renal and Transplant
  • Weeks 3-4: General Medicine & Psychiatric
  • Weeks 5-6: Cardiology & Rehab
  • Weeks 6-12: Critical Care, Surgery & Nutrition Support (mostly in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, or SICU)

10 Weeks of a Advanced Rotations in Pediatrics:

  • Week 1: General Pediatrics
  • Week 2: Pediatric Surgery & GI
  • Week 3: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Week 4: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Week 5: Cystic Fibrosis (inpatient & outpatient)
  • Week 6: Specialty Pediatrics (outpatient)
  • Weeks 7-10: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

I chose to spend the 10 weeks of my Advanced Rotations working in pediatrics since it’s an area I plan to incorporate into my own private practice. (More details on that as I write my business plan during the next 2 weeks!) I wanted to get as much time as possible working with critically ill patients since they’re often the most complicated and challenging. It just so happened that the regular PICU dietitian went out on maternity leave 6 weeks ago so I was able to spend the last month covering the PICU, all by myself. My preceptor gave me full ownership of the unit, including going to rounds for 3 hours every morning and giving the team my nutrition recommendations. It.was.awesome.

I’ve come a long way. 22 weeks ago I was bashful talking to patients and nervous about giving recommendations to doctors. Now, I comfortably interact with patients, chart notes like nobody’s business and know what to do for patients almost all of the time. I tell the teams exactly what I want and why, with a leopard print clipboard in my arms, and they listen to me. It feels good.

I’ll be hunkered down in various Chapel Hill coffee shops for the next couple weeks, writing my Master’s paper which will be presented to faculty on November 30th – the day I graduate!

Question of the day: RDs & RDs-to-be, what did you like, love, hate about your clinical internship? What are you most proud of?

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