By Joyce L. Hornick, Dietetic Intern
I can’t believe I am almost at the end of my internship and that means elective week is just around the corner! The elective week is an opportunity for interns to explore any realm of dietetics they want. Some interns explore a new opportunity they didn’t get to experience during the internship, such as private practice. Since some rotations are only a week long, some interns return for a more in-depth experience. Some interns choose an elective where they may have a direct connection for a job opening or to expand their networking. The possibilities to explore are vast.
I decided that I wanted to return to where I first started the internship, Moveable Feast, a nonprofit organization that provides meals and groceries to people with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and blood cancers. Even though it was a 3 week rotation, I wanted to go back to learn more. When I was there in September, I got the opportunity to counsel patients via telephone interviews. I was very uneasy at this since I had only done “counseling” in the classroom in role play simulations. Most interns go to Moveable Feast after they’ve done their clinical rotation, so they’ve been able to hone their assessment skills over 10-12 weeks. I hope to do some phone interviews again to see how I’ve grown in my ability to perform assessments. I know I will be more confident, will be able to take what the client tells me to quickly make suggestions for change, and help set goals to help maintain or improve their nutrition status.
I am also looking forward to new learning opportunities available at Moveable Feast. Back in September, due to funding constraints, Moveable Feast wasn’t doing home visits. Going back now will give me the opportunity to perform this valuable nutrition evaluation for their clients. Grocery deliveries were also very limited in September, so I will also get the opportunity to assist drivers on home grocery and meal deliveries this time. Other plans are to visit patients while they are making their HIV/AIDS outpatient visits at Park West Clinic, helping AIRS clients with a grocery store tour, and hopefully, getting to work in the Moveable Feast community garden!