Sharing Coffee with Sam Moll
2020 Sodexo Dietetic Internship program graduate Samuel Moll, now Sodexo Clinical Manager III in Brooklyn New York recently had coffee with Sodexo CEO Sophie Bellon.
Ilana Dubrovsky-Razam - Region 4
Hello fellow interns! My name is Ilana Dubrovsky and I am located in northern New Jersey (Region 4). I would like to share some strategies that I have found helpful in my transition from orientation to my first rotation in patient services.
First, develop an organizational system to track your rotation schedules, preceptors, and assignments. This will increase your productivity and decrease stress! I use the Google calendar, which integrates into my computer and phone. This tool enables me to make changes or notes to my schedule on the go, while synchronizing with the calendars on my other devices. It has made a complicated schedule a little easier to manage.
Beginning my internship in patient services has enabled me to get a 360° view of the patient experience. I witnessed patients ordering their meals, oversaw (and participated in!) meal preparation and the delivery of patient meals, as well as interviewed patients to understand their satisfaction with food service as well as overall experience. This rotation enabled me to identify areas that could use improvement through participating and overseeing processes, but also by communicating with managers and supervisors.
In my experience, I have found that managers and food service staff are happy to share areas of their workflow that need improvement or simplification. I suggest you take a note of these challenges. Ask others if they also face this challenge and be confident in making suggestions to improve the process. For example, food service line workers in my hospital site were unsure about substituting one nutrition supplement for another, if we were out of stock of an item. They consistently asked their supervisors if substitutions were appropriate. In response to this challenge, I received approval from a manager to create and post a sign that read: “No substitutions for supplements; flavor substitutions only. (Check for allergies: butter pecan flavor contains nuts.)” I made a second sign that had photos of the supplements and a brief summary of the product and population or disease state it is intended to serve, in case someone was interested in understanding why substitutions are not permitted. These simple signs were a big hit! I received positive feedback from both the managers and the line workers, thanking me for the information.
The advice I leave you with: ask questions and don’t be shy in making suggestions. You are a nutrition professional and equipped with tremendous knowledge. Best of luck. You got this!
Jessie Pires - Region 8
A day in the life of a Dietetic Intern who also is a competitive athlete:
4:00am WAKE UP and get ready to go to the gym. Feed the dog and cats, freshen up and make sure all food is packed for the day. Scrubs packed and items to shower at the gym. I am a competitive athlete and like to get my workouts in before I go to the hospital so I can just go home and relax after.
4:45am Leave the house and head to the gym and start workout by 5:00am blasting Metallica or AC/DC.
6:45am Finish work out and hit the showers to get all clean and freshened up/heat up egg casserole and make oatmeal. (They have the capabilities for us to do this at my gym).
7:15am Leave the gym and head to the hospital. Listen to a podcast of Dr. Mark Hyman or country music to relax. Eat breakfast in the truck.
8:15am At the hospital walking in, grab my Starbucks and head to the diet office.
8-10:30am Gather notes from all patients that I will be seeing, chat with CNM and other dietitians.
10:30am Eat my snack before I head up to the floors and start seeing patients. The longer I have been here, the more I have made such great friends with some of the employees, and we always chat for about 5 minutes when I head up to the floors.
10:30-11am- Meet with the rounding interdisciplinary team and discuss patients that may be discharged, or chat about any updates on the health concern of the patients.
11-12:30pm- Round on half of my patients and ask my preceptor Holly any questions that I need clarified.
12:45pm LUNCH TIME!
1:30pm Round on the other half of the patients that I did not get a chance to go see.
2:30pm Charting time! Get together all my notes and make sure that my charting is completed for Holly to sign.
3:30pm Snack time and review my notes with Holly.
4-4:30pm Time to pack it in and leave for the day.
5:30pm arrive home and start making dinner.
6:30-7:30pm Make sure all my chores are done, meals are packed, and homework is done.
8:00pm Lights out, time to get some good shut eye and do it all over again.
Rita Woodard - Region 10
Hi! My name is Rita, and I am a Sodexo intern from region 10 based in Dallas, TX. I’ve lived in the Dallas area for the past nine years, so it was nice that Sodexo had an internship spot available in my area. I just wrapped up my time at a hospital where I was able to complete my food service, clinical, patient services, and clinical nutrition management rotations. After orientation in September, it felt like I would be at the hospital forever! Now, I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone and how much I’ve grown during that time. Overall, I really enjoyed the clinical rotation. I was at a teaching hospital so everyone, from the team of dietitians to nurses, PT, OT, SLP, MDs, and leadership were willing to help. One recommendation I have for other interns or potential interns is to ask questions! This not only helps you learn more while you are on the job, but it shows that you are engaged and care about what you are doing, you respect the person’s knowledge and opinion that you are asking the question to, and that you are taking an active step to learn as much as possible.
I had previously worked in a corporate setting, so being in a hospital was a brand-new experience. It was difficult to see patients that were relatively young face a difficult diagnosis, older patients that were failing to thrive, or patients that did not make it out of the hospital that I had engaged with multiple times. One of the most rewarding parts, however, was being able to connect with patients and seeing their health improve over the course of their stay. While some patients just wanted you out of their room and would only respond with 1–2-word answers, others enjoyed having someone to talk to.
I loved working the geriatric service and having patients tell me about what they used to do or tell me about their grandkids. Other floors, it was more about connecting with a family member or caregiver depending on the state of the patient. By creating a connection instead of just a transaction, I was better able to build trust with patients and their families. It helped patients by feeling that their healthcare team members truly were interested in their care and were keeping track of their progress. It helped me by being able to assess changes in a patient not only by their clinical status, but also by being able to identify changes in the patient’s mood, how they describe how they feel from day to day, changes in their appearance, and how their family is feeling the patient is improving. It was also more satisfying to see a patient be discharged in a better state than they were when they came in!
Jackie English - Region 9
Hello to future and fellow dietetic interns! My name is Jackie, and I am currently in my dietetic internship with Region 9. That’s the Midwest for all those not in the know. I wish I could take you through an exciting day on the job, but I’m on a little break before I crack at it again with my foodservice rotation. I completed 16 weeks at a hospital in Minneapolis and another 5 weeks at the two children’s hospitals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
I’ve been asked a lot by family and friends what it’s like to have this experience. It’s taken me a while to describe it, but here is the best I’ve come up with: Picture yourself having just learned how to ride a bike. Pretty great, huh? Wind in your hair, your own personal freedom of being in control of your journey. Ok, now picture someone handing you a giant pizza to deliver and a couple bags of groceries balanced on the handlebars. You are still moving, and you still have your own personal freedom to get to your destination, but you have to juggle some things as well. You have all this momentum from your undergrad knowledge and experiences and the new knowledge you acquire while at your rotations and learning from your preceptors.
My clinical experience was unique. One minute I was working with a critical care team in the ICU, deciding when to stop the tube feed and have them start eating again. Next, I gave heart health education to a class of people who had just had heart surgery. I felt like I blinked was transitioned into my pediatric rotation. Another excellent and educational experience. With both rotations, some days, I was confident in what to do and how to handle the situations. Some days, I needed help, which was easy to come by in the internship. You are always fully supported by your regional preceptors, director, and fellow interns. Once you realize everyone in this program is rooting for you to finish and learn, juggling and navigating become much more manageable.
I will never forget my first time calculating a TPN order at my clinical site. It was scary and intimidating, but I had help from my preceptor. After completing it, I got to discuss it with fellow interns in my region to show them what worked and what didn’t. This is such a unique experience where you take all this valuable knowledge from your undergrad and apply it to real-life situations immediately, so take advantage of new learning opportunities whenever you can. The juggling and the balancing will not go away but will become much more manageable.
Anissa Carreto- Region 12
My name is Anissa and I am currently wrapping up my internship now. It has been an honor to be a part of region 12’s cohort as I have learned and experienced so much throughout my time spent in rotations. I’d like to pay homage to my internship’s clinical rotations, particularly my advanced rotation.
I spent my advanced clinical rotation hours in the ICU with a well-seasoned dietitian as my preceptor. The rotation allowed me to attend rounds every morning, work with so many different disease states, and appreciate working with an entire interdisciplinary team in the hospital setting. A specific experience that I quite valued in this rotation was the level of continuity in care for patients. More often than not, the dietitian will work with a patient throughout their entire stay in the hospital which goes from being admitted to being discharged. This can range from a stay being as short as a day to as long as months, depending on the case. I particularly enjoyed this because I could physically see my nutrition recommendations working well with a patient or notice the places that could use improvement. It was also interesting to see updates from the interdisciplinary team as each day passed on each patient; it was especially unique when the doctors would round on these patients. I felt like such a valuable part of the team and well-respected.
I was excited to be at this moment in my internship career where I was in the final part of my clinical rotations. Something I was not ready for and what felt like nothing would prepare me for were the challenges that came along with it. No matter how much I felt prepared for a new day, I felt like I came home with sticky notes of subjects to touch up on or things to remember for the future. I was encouraged to dig deeper in research about certain disease states and recall on my knowledge of my previous studies by my preceptor. There were consistently patients with new preferences or allergies that challenged my work. This forced me to think in new directions. But, despite the challenges and intimidation of working in the ICU, I found myself to be a well-rounded and knowledgeable intern by the end of it. I have sharpened my problem-solving skills and ability to provide individualized nutrition care.
Cheers to my accomplishments made throughout clinicals! It was a humbling, daunting experience that pushed me into a more confident direction for entering the field of dietetics and nutrition. I encourage every intern that feels stuck or pushed beyond their limit, to keep pushing and reach out to your resources. Never feel ashamed for asking questions or for help. Remind yourself that your preceptor is there for your guidance along with the Sodexo internship team. There is a team of support right behind you, every inch of the way, during the internship. Lastly, it’s also important to remind yourself that not every intern will have the same internship experience as you. Don’t compare your journey but embrace it instead!
Julie Campbell - Region 4
Hi everyone! My name is Julie. I am a current Sodexo intern in region 4. Right now, I am more than halfway through my internship. Everyone says the internship year flies by and it really does! I remember feeling so incredibly nervous before the start of my internship, but now I feel a world’s difference. So far I have completed my patient services rotation, clinical rotation, LTC rotation, and I am currently in my pediatrics concentration at a children’s hospital. The experience I gained at my clinical site has been invaluable at the children’s hospital.
My absolute favorite memory from my clinical rotation was when I shadowed the wound care RNs for half a day. It was so helpful to actually see what the different stages of what a pressure injury looks like or what a diabetic ulcer looks like. RDs are vital to the treatment of serious wounds, so being able to work alongside the wound care RNs was such a valuable experience. And the mental images I have from that day will forever be in my memory!
My biggest piece of advice for upcoming interns is to seek out different experiences. This is the time to learn as much as possible! Whenever I asked one of my preceptors about shadowing another member of the care team or observing a swallow evaluation, they were always willing to set up the experience for me. Overall, I am so grateful for the sites I’ve been at, especially my clinical and pediatrics sites, and I am excited to continue to learn for the rest of my time as an intern.
Morgan Nishisaka - Region 12
Hello everyone! My name is Morgan Nishisaka and am part of region 12. I am currently in my foodservice rotation in Honolulu. This rotation has taught me so much about foodservice in a hospital from inpatient to retail to catering events that they put on for the hospital. So far, I got to be a part of helping plate meals for a staff-wide event to celebrate King Kamehameha IV’s birthday and help in retail with the marketing, costing and production of chocolate covered strawberries to be sold for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t think that I would like foodservice as much as I do. Every day is different and that’s what makes it exciting! Before this rotation, I was in my clinical rotation at the same hospital. During my clinical rotation, I got experience at a level 1 trauma hospital, a community hospital and even got to travel to the Big Island to see what a rural hospital was like. These experiences have allowed me to be able to see what it would be like to be a dietitian in various hospital settings. One cool thing that I got to experience was seeing someone get extubated! My clinical rotation also allowed me to shadow many wonderful dietitians that taught me many great things and allowed me to thrive in my clinical rotation.
To future dietetic interns, my advice is to keep your mind open! You never know what you’ll enjoy and what might not be your favorite until you try it out, and keeping an open mind can help you find things that you never knew you’d enjoy. I found out I love foodservice a lot more than I thought that I would. Another piece of advice that I was told was to do something every day. That phrase will get repeated a lot during orientation and personally I didn’t understand the emphasis on it but looking back, I now understand. Doing something small very day helps prevent the projects from piling up and keeps everything at a decent workload!
Megan Martin - Region 2
Hello! My name is Megan Martin and I am a dietetic intern in region 2 Southern Massachusetts. Currently, I have completed my clinical rotations and I am heading into my food service management rotation soon. My experience over the last few months during clinical has been nothing short of amazing! As an undergraduate student, I always looked forward to applying all that I learned in the classroom to the actual clinical setting. This longing of mine finally became very real during these rotations as I was pleasantly surprised at the level of independence my clinical preceptors allowed me to have throughout each clinical rotation. At the beginning of clinical, my preceptors made it a point to ask me my preferred learning styles and how they could best support me. I explained that I am typically and “analyzer” and a “doer.” Taking this into consideration, my preceptors structured our days to allow me to discuss (aka – analyze) each patient’s case before I went to visit the patients on my own to learn by doing. Furthermore, during my advanced clinical rotation, I spent 4 weeks working solely in the critical care unit.
At my clinical site, the critical care dietitian attends interdisciplinary rounds in the critical care unit from 9:30AM-1PM every day. During my 4 weeks of advanced clinical, I stood in for the critical care dietitian at rounds each day. This experience was so valuable as it helped me to become much more comfortable working as a member of the interdisciplinary team. In addition, rounding with the critical care team exposed me to many key factors that the medical team takes into consideration for each patient, several of which have relevance to the dietitians role. Thus, the knowledge I gained during this time specifically will be essential to carry with me in order to become the best clinician I can be as a future dietitian.
Moreover, the sense of community I have felt as a Sodexo intern and relationships I’ve developed with my preceptors and region director have been delightful, as well as a key component to my success so far in the internship. Each person I have connected with has been so supportive and provided me with personalized guidance based on my career goals and interests. Knowing that this support network is here for me as a Sodexo intern is certainly reassuring during challenging times. With this, I am truly excited to enter into the remaining rotations I have during this internship!
Morgan Kropp - Region 9
Top 5 Lessons I’ve learned as a dietetic intern: