Getting The Most Out Of Your Dietetic Internship
Hi loves! Happy Monday and welcome back to the blog. Today, I'm talking about a topic just for my nutrition gurus... tips on being a dietetic intern!
If you are reading this post, you are likely either interested in becoming a dietetic intern or are preparing to begin your dietetic internship.
If you are not sure what a dietetic internship is, you can read more about it here.
I recently finished my dietetic internship at Long Island University, and I am very excited to say I have started my job as a Clinical Dietitian! I'm thrilled to start my career and work in a hospital that I truly love. My passion for nutrition has really come together, and I can't wait to see what the future holds.
The dietetic internship experience is certainly unique- there is a lot of organization and balancing involved. I wanted to write this post to help future dietetic interns understand what to expect when beginning this amazing opportunity. Here are my top tips for being a dietetic intern!
Treat Your Internship Like A Year-Long Job Interview
This was honestly the best piece of advice I could have ever received. At the end of the internship, you ultimately want to get hired and start your career as a Dietitian. When you show up to an interview, you make sure you are well-prepared, on time, and dressed appropriately. The same thing goes for your dietetic internship. Every day, get to your rotation promptly (with time to spare). Dress your very best and make sure you are EXTREMELY organized. Make relationships with your preceptors and soak up every single thing you learn. Network as best you can to get the ideal experience.
P.S. Do NOT show up with wet hair!!!
Don't Be Overdramatic
Things aren't going to always go your way. There will likely be disgruntled patients or preceptors who are particular. Do NOT be overdramatic; take a deep breath and LISTEN. Listen to what that person wants, and deliver the task. Getting upset over a big nothing is useless and will take away from your dietetic internship experience. Don't make things more stressful than they need to be. And above all, do not burn bridges.
Manage Your Time & Money
You are paying for this experience and working full-time at your rotations. Time and money become very precious commodities during your dietetic internship. I saved up a good amount of money before my internship because I anticipated financial stress during this time. Saving up my money was the BEST preparation I did for this program. I also budgeted my monthly expenses and made a plan. Time is precious as well; prioritize the internship. You may need to make sacrifices (not being able to go out with your friends every weekend, etc), but push through for this short period of time.
Prioritize The Patient
Patient care is of the upmost importance in any healthcare setting. Don't be afraid to get involved with the interdisciplinary team in the best interest for the patient. Listen, listen, listen, and then ask questions and take action. Make sure you cover all of your bases and ensure that your nutrition interventions are the best they can be. Thoroughly read over every note you write and correct any errors.
Make Daily Time For YOU
The internship is stressful; don't lose sight of the things that make you happy! I have a love for exercise (as you can see on this blog), and I didn't sacrifice this during my internship. I worked out every day, as this was a great stress reliever for me. I would exercise with my boyfriend, and that was great for keeping our relationship strong. Get into a routine and grab a friend or significant other to stay physically active with. If there are other hobbies you enjoy, implement those as well.
Work Hard & Be Humble
This is a very competitive and intense experience. Be GRATEFUL for every single experience you have and every preceptor and patient you meet. Work as hard as you can and stay humble. Don't ever take anything for granted. Keep your head held high and always stay positive!
Do you have any questions about the dietetic internship experience? Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. And congratulations to those of you who will begin your dietetic internship this year!