Hello, everyone! I’m Terry, a dietetic intern in region 3 located in New York City. I am coming to the end of my internship hours this month, and it has been both a challenging and enjoyable experience. I would love to share some of my internship highlights with you.
Critical Care MNT Concentration:
One of the best parts of my internship was spending my concentration hours in the Medical ICU, Surgical ICU, and Critical Care Units. I was very nervous going into this concentration, but I went in it looking for a challenge. I wanted to hone in on all the education received during my undergraduate courses leading up to the internship, and that challenge was surely met. During this time, I was able to build my confidence in communication with doctors and adapt to constant changes and developments of the patient’s medical course. One of the most important things I learned from this rotation was learning to speak up and to advocate for patient’s needs. In the beginning of my concentration, I went in very shy, nervous, and wide eyed asking a lot of questions with a lot of uncertainty about my nutrition diagnoses and patient interventions. After a lot of time reviewing ASPEN recommendations and looking through current research, my confidence grew. By the end of my time in these units, I was being heard in IDT rounds by the doctors and my recommendations/interventions were being implemented. I can confidently say this concentration was well worth the challenge.
Food Service Management:
One of the most surprising aspects of this internship is finding out the leadership skills you hold and continuing to grow each day. Going into food service I reported to the kitchen at 6am, and it was very interesting seeing how food gets to patients’ rooms beginning with the ordering process. I was able to learn of the family community that exists in the Sodexo food service operation as patient care is rooted in the goal of the food service operation. In doing so, it is founded upon teamwork and organization to complete goals and objectives.
The best part of food service was when I was able to create an innovative product that would be placed on the menu. As it was just in time for spring, I wanted to implement a new menu item that was delicious, sweet, refreshing, and nutritious. I decided to implement a plant-based yogurt parfait that used coconut yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola. I was extremely surprised how much simple ingredients can make a huge turnout of satisfaction by many of the staff and visitors at my site. It was very rewarding to educate the customers, staff, and visitors of the benefits of choosing plant-based options and the nutritional value that it holds. Customers included many cultures and all walks of life, and they enjoyed the parfaits. Moreover, it was just in time for national nutrition month where we showed the fuel for the future. This was a very enjoyable experience!