Hi everyone! My name is Ting Ashworth, and I’m an intern from region 5 which is based in the DMV area. I am in the Maryland area which is where I just started my Patient Services rotation and recently finished my Food Service Management! I was a little nervous to start working in a hospital since I’ve never worked in a hospital setting before. However, it was nice to start with my food service management rotation to ease my way into working at one. Even though I started my internship a little more than a month ago, I have already learned a lot and gained valuable experience and knowledge.
Looking back at it now, my Food Service Management rotation went by so fast! I met a lot of great people who were happy to answer any questions I had about the kitchen. By participating with the kitchen staff, I learned a lot about all aspects of the kitchen from how to prepare nourishments to seeing how food carts are prepared for the patients. One of the tasks I especially enjoyed doing was going around the hospital and asking patients to answer a food service survey. I asked them on a scale of 1-5, 1 being not good at all to 5 being excellent, how they would rate their experience with us. Some of the questions were whether food that was supposed to be hot was hot, if the food looked appetizing, how likely they would be to recommend us to a friend/family member, and if they were able to reach everything on their tray. I was surprised by how many people were glad to have me ask them questions on the survey, but looking back now it makes sense because they’re happy to know the hospital wants their input. By completing these surveys, the hospital gained more insight into what patients think of the food to make future changes. Before starting this rotation, I was a little hesitant because food service isn’t my passion, but I’m glad to say that I will miss it because of the great staff the hospital has.
Some advice to future interns is try not to have too many expectations before going into a rotation. A few of these fields you may not have any experience in, so you’ll never really know if you will like it or not until you actually start. Have an open mind and make the most of your rotations. Also, you’re an intern, you don’t know everything yet! I was definitely hesitant to ask questions because I had a lot and felt like I was bothering whoever I had a question for. Obviously try to find the answer yourself, but if you can’t just ask someone. It’s always better to ask a question than have gaps of knowledge.
I’m happy to have finished my first rotation and am still nervous but also intrigued by my upcoming clinical rotations and the rotations after that. I am extremely thankful for Sodexo, my hospital, and the food service staff for already making my internship memorable. I’m excited to continue learning and growing as a dietetic intern!