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Dietetic Internship Week 1: WIC

I was super nervous for class on Monday. My first class, where we review our rotations, was canceled, because well, we haven’t had a full rotation yet. My second class is Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy I (MNT). It was 2.5 hours and I haven’t had any MNT really in 2-ish years. I was crazy nervous that I would be so lost the first day of class. Glad to report class went great and I loved it! I’ll probably eat those words in like 2 months, but still. We eased into the material by discussing the Nutrition Care Process. My last class of the day was the research proposal class. We had two guest speakers who spoke about their children’s food allergies. I really enjoyed it! Learning about food allergies is one thing we don’t get much exposure to in college so it was really interesting and eye opening to hear their stories. We made it out of class in time to catch the solar eclipse too!

My two other online courses for my electives start this week, so I’m getting prepared and started on those as well! One of my most important goals this week was to write EVERYTHING out in my planner so I can keep all these classes and rotations straight.

I am so grateful my first rotation was at my old job. At first I thought it was kind of funny and somewhat wished it would have been later on. When I woke up Tuesday morning I was actually nervous to go to my rotation! Not a bad nervous, but still a little nervous just because I was going on my first rotation. So I’m definitely grateful it wasn’t a major rotation! It kind of felt like I was just driving to my old job lol and not a rotation.

When I walked in Tuesday almost everyone was surprised to see me. They wanted to know how the internship was going, and laughed when they learned this was my first real day! I spent the first part of the day helping get paperwork in order for their Farmers’ Market Coupons. The middle part of the day I spent with my preceptor talking about typical things she would review with interns (we went through this pretty quickly since I was pretty familiar). I had requested to sit in with some of the dietitians because even though I had worked with WIC for so long, I had never really sat in with a dietitian before. I felt like this rotation was my best place to see a dietitian counsel, especially in the community setting.

After Tuesday was over I met up with some of my fellow interns and went to the local Gucci Kroger because apparently our new favorite thing to do together is grocery shop. The thrilling lives of future dietitians…

The second day of my WIC rotation, I started the morning reviewing expected competencies with my preceptor for this rotation. After, I spent the rest of morning with a different RDN to observe and assist with nutrition education and counseling. This dietitian has worked in a lot of different areas of dietetics so she was able to offer some advice about areas I’m interested in working as a dietitian. Clinic picked up after lunch (typical) and I saw clients by myself to help with clinic flow.

Thursday is a slower day at this clinic, so there wasn’t too much to do. I was able to talk with the dietitians and discuss the internship, rotation, and career advice. There were some issues with the weekly report we do for each rotation, so we worked on correcting those. Clinic picked back up in the afternoon and I saw clients by myself again. Interns typically don’t do this (I know because I’ve had interns when I worked there), but since I was familiar with WIC, I just helped out in the clinic where I could when needed.

For those not familiar with the nutrition education and counseling done at WIC, I really just provided individualized nutrition education and counseling for each client. These topics range from prenatal nutrition (food safety, weight gain, breastfeeding promotion, caloric needs, etc.), postpartum (addressing any PPD and mom’s health, then focusing on the newborn), infants (formula prep/safety, breastfeeding support, teething, introducing baby foods, sippy cups, formula intake, avoiding choking hazards, etc.), and children (dietary habits, picky eating, MyPlate, serving sizes, etc.). Most of this is information we don’t learn in our nutrition training, so it’s more of an on the job learning and researching. Of course we always use evidence-based knowledge, so we pull from American Academy of Pediatrics a lot. 

Friday was my Graduate Research Assistant (RA) day. The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is still getting set up since school is just starting, so I helped get things prepared for that. I worked with my classmates who were on their NEP rotation. It really just involved assembling bags for 2nd grade lesson plans for different counties NEP serves. The lesson plans were really cute!

I’m surprised how quickly my first true week of the internship went by! Week 2 is an out patient rotation, so the weekend was spent reviewing related material for that and staying caught up on my class readings.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

xx Sara








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