Saint Louis University

BLOG: Taking the Leap

Author: Esti Asher
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012

As I walk through the hospital, I can’t help but feel a rush of excitement. It is so surreal to be a dietetic intern and to be closer to my goal of becoming a registered dietitian. For the past two weeks, we (the SLU Dietetic Internship Class of 2013) had been experiencing our diabetes clinical rotation. I was placed at Barnes Jewish Hospital with seven fellow interns and we began our much anticipated dietetic internship experience. Each day we were assigned patients that we interviewed, assessed, diagnosed (nutritionally), determined an intervention strategy, and monitored and evaluated their progress toward the goals that we set with them. Then we charted our preapproved ADIME notes in their electronic medical record. I absolutely love the clinical setting and the interaction with the patients and members of the healthcare team. While these past two weeks were exciting and rich in learning experiences and opportunities, I have to admit that a part of me thought: “Am I really ready for this?” I did not think that making the transition from student to professional would be at all difficult, but sometimes I feel that it is easier said than done.

Therefore, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to mention a few tips for me and my classmates to keep in mind while we embark on this 10 month journey of completing our supervised practice rotations.

  1. Be confident
    We have worked so hard to get to where we are right now. (Remember our organic chemistry days!?) Not only were we able to get through all of the advanced science classes, but we had so many courses specifically designed to prepare us for the rotations that we will have throughout this internship. If we were able to make it this far, we are definitely equipped with the tools to be very successful interns, and ultimately very successful registered dietitians. Once we remind ourselves of all of the hard work that got us here, we will be confident in our abilities. Also, don’t forget that we are expected to ask a lot of questions and make some mistakes along the way in order for us to develop as strong professionals, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Ultimately we have to stand up tall with our heads held high and a smile on our face, and just trust the process. Don’t forget, confidence is key.
  2. Stay organized
    After our four weeks of orientation, we can all agree that there is A LOT to keep track of. Between nutrition educations, cooking demos, articles for the newsletter, modules, graduate coursework, etc., it is essential to figure out a system that best helps you stay organized and on top of the various tasks throughout the year.
  3. Do not procrastinate
    Time management goes hand in hand with staying organized. As many of us probably already figured out, it is so important to stick to a schedule and do whatever we can to not fall behind on our work. While it is important and healthy to find time for ourselves to exercise and relax, do not forget to stay on task. After all, we all want the satisfaction of being able to check things off our list once they are due, right?
  4. Enjoy the ride
    Possibly the most important tip. I can imagine that it is very easy to get overwhelmed during the internship process, but it is so important to keep the big picture in mind. It is essential that we enjoy and take advantage of all the opportunities that we encounter. Many dietitians that I have spoken to expressed that the internship was one of the best years of their life. So, while it is important to work hard, don’t forget to enjoy all of the valuable experiences that we will have in our very near future!

With these tips in mind, I am confident that we will all be able to successfully take the leap!

Saint Louis University Dietetic Internship Hospital Rotation
Pictured: Esti Asher (left) & Kelly Houston (right)
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